By Nosa Akenzua, Asaba
Nurses are advised to call off strike action in the interest of the general public.
The Delta State Government has called on the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Delta State Council to call off the State wide indefinite strike action it embarked on with effect from 12 midnight of December 3, 2020.
The Delta State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Mordi Ononye made this call at the weekend in Asaba in a swift reaction to the strike action embarked on by the Nurses over some demands on the government made by the Association.
Dr. Ononye expressed dismay that the Association could call on their members to embark on an indefinite strike just a day after the fruitful tripartite meeting in Asaba comprising the Commissioner for Health; Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, Delta State; and the Association’s Executive.
He said the meeting which held on Wednesday, December 2, 2020 was convened by him as a follow-up to previous meetings he had held with officials of the Association to resolve the issues they raised in their notice of industrial action.
According to the Commissioner, it was agreed at the meeting that the intended strike action should be suspended until further notice to enable all stakeholders to meet again after the Committee set up to determine seniority of Nurses in the State has submitted its report.
He said the Committee which was to use cadre of the Nurses and nominal roll as criteria for determining the seniority of Nurses in the State was given until January 31, 2021 to submit their report with a representative of the Association as a member of the Committee.
Issues tabled and exhaustively discussed at the meeting included selection of Director of Nursing Services in the Ministry; lateral transfer of 31 Nurses/Midwives from the State Hospital Management Board to the State Ministry of Health; accurate nominal roll and seniority list of Nurses and Midwives in the State, posting of Principals of Schools of Nursing and Midwifery and employment of nurses into the service.
It was agreed by all at the meeting that just coming out of the #EndSARS protest, the outbreak of Yellow fever in some Local Government Areas in the State and the on-going Yellow fever mass vaccination campaign, it would not be in the interest of Deltans for the healthcare system of the State to be affected by any disruptive action.
The Commissioner, therefore, expressed worry that the Association has a hidden agenda against government, as all participants at the meeting left with the belief and understanding that the proposed strike action would be suspended until the meeting is reconvened after the submission of the report by the Committee setup on the seniority list.