The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives in Kogi State has suspended its one-week strike action following a state government intervention.
The health workers are demanding for improved welfare package from the government, citing the huge difference in the salaries received by the workers of the state specialist Hospitals.
The workers said they will return work after the governor of Kogi State, Idris Wada, after an emergency meeting, approved the immediate release of N20million (32.5%) of the outstanding N62million for Nurses and Midwifes in the state. The new pay is expected to reflect in the April salary.
The Chairperson of the nurses and midwives association, Lillian Funke Kanjuni, announced the’s union’s decision to shift grounds even when their demands were not fully met, citing the need to save lives and help the state’s poor economy. She said the struggle for improved welfare was however not over yet “as they will come back fighting another day”.
Mrs. Kanjuni commended the decision of Mr. Wada for shifting grounds, an action she described as friendly, stressing that the governor has proved the lives of the people are of great importance.
Mrs. Kanjuni hinted that there is wide disparity in the salary structure of the health workers in the state as many workers at various cottage hospitals are poorly remunerated.
She commended the support of Nigeria Labour Congress to resolve the strike and appealed to her members to return to work. She added that her leadership remains focused and will not rest on its oars until better-quality welfare is attained.
Mrs. Kanjuni, however, appealed to the state government to look into the poor number of nurses and midwives at the various hospitals across the state. According to the Chairperson, there are 851 nurses in 51 general hospitals, cottages and clinics across the state.
In a related development, Mr. Wada on Thursday inaugurated a 9-man salary harmonization committee.
The committee will focus on salary structure harmonization and other related issues of health workers in the state. It is expected to propose solutions to resolving the disparity in the salary structure of health workers in the state.
The governor appointed the Kogi State Head of Civil Service Commission as the chairman. He gave the committee three months to submit a report.