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Fresh crisis rocks Nasarawa NLC as health workers pull out of negotiation

By Linus Oota, Lafia

Fresh troubles are brewing in Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) Nasarawa State Chapter in the ongoing indefinite strike declared by the body in the state.

The Coalition of Nasarawa State Health Professionals Association (CNSHPA), after participating in all the negotiations leading to the draft of an agreement pulled out at the last minute and vowed to continue with the strike action.

Speaking yesterday at the government house during a meeting between the governor and the NLC to sign the draft MoU, the Commissioner for Justice, Abdulkareem Kana, told the gathering that the health workers had pulled out of the MoU at the last hour after the draft had been done.

The Justice Commissioner explained that the action of the health workers has rendered the draft agreement invalid.

Governor Abdullahi Sule declined to sign the agreement on the basis that the health workers and labour are not on the same page, he directed the NLC chairman to go back and agree with the health workers on certain areas of the disagreement before returning to him.

But speaking to journalists yesterday in Lafia, Mr Kyari Caleb, spokesperson of CNSHPA, who is also the Chairman, Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria, said the agreement reached between labour and government did not capture their interest.

He explained that the coalition started its own strike action on June 7 before the organised labour declared an indefinite strike on June 15.

He said the government engaged the coalition and organised labour together but the coalition had to back out because they were not satisfied with what was being offered by the government.

“The decision to embark on the strike was a collective one. Our members will continue to stay at home until the government does the needful.

Some of  our demands include, lack of implementation of promotions for more than 10 years, failure to implement N30, 000 minimum wage for members and lack of annual increment among others,” he added.

NLC had declared indefinite strike due to failure of the government to meet their demands after two ultimatums were served.

The NLC Chairman, Yusuf Iya listed some of the demands to include, partial implementation of minimum wage without recourse to due process of collective bargaining, lack of implementation of promotions since 2008.

Others are; lack of annual increments, lack of training, lack of confirmation of appointments of casual workers some of which are working for more than 10 years among others.

Comrade Iya said that some of the problems lingered for a long period of time, but the government has failed to give priority toward addressing them.

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