National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Nasarawa State Chapter, has urged the Nasarawa state government and local government authorities in the state to prevent a prolonged strike over its members’ salaries not being paid in full.
The chairman of the association, Mr Shawolu Tammah, Chairman, stated this in an interview with newsmen, in Lafia on Sunday.
He said members of the association should be paid full salaries henceforth, as against the payment of salaries in percentage, which they were currently receiving.
Members of the association have already embarked on a seven days warning strike, which started from May 7 to protest the payment of salaries in percentage to members of the association in local government areas of the state.
Tammah, however, vowed that if after the seven days initial warning strike, members were not paid their full entitlements, the association would embark on a full scale strike.
According to him, the association will resist any attempt by the state government and Association of Local Government of Nigeria (ALGON), to lure them back to work except all their demands were met.
“It is no longer news that our members in the various local government areas have already embarked on warning strike because since March, they have been receiving 75 per cent of their salaries.
‘We met with Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs and ALGON Chairman to express our displeasure.
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“But to our surprise, they say they have nowhere to source the balance to pay full salaries because they have decided to use Value Added Tax (VAT), which they were using in the past to complete the salaries for capital projects.
“That was what angered us because we are facing a pandemic and people are dying of hunger, but they are insisting on capital projects when people are crying of hunger due to the effects of the pandemic.
“So, we called our members in the various local government areas and resolved to shut down activities.
“We also met with chairmen of other unions and agreed to down tools. We have written to the state government and other relevant authorities to notify them,” he said.
Tammah said if after the expiration of the seven days warning strike, there was no agreement reached over the full payment of salaries of members, the association would immediately embark on a full scale strike that would only be called off when all their demands were met.
“After seven days, if nothing is done, we will progress further on full strike. In fact, we cannot say when the strike will end until our demands are met,” he said.
The chairman said lack of protective equipment for members attending to coronavirus patients was another issue they want the state government to look into, so that their members don’t risk their lives to the pandemic while nursing others.
“Lack of protective equipment is another big challenge we are facing. Health workers are dying because of lack of adequate protective equipment, and as I speak to you, there is nothing on ground and the hazard allowance is not enough.
“Only very few protective equipment are available in the state and given the nature of this virus, it is very hazardous and we are not comfortable at all,” he said.