FG Insists Resident Doctors Strike Flouts Agreement

On 07/Sep/2017 / In Medical News

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige,  yesterday insisted that the strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) violated the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) reached with the Federal  Government.  
 
Speaking during the conciliatory meeting between the officials of the Federal Ministry of Health led by the Minister Prof. Isaac Adewole, President and Executive of NARD and President and Executive of the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), the minister said, “I do not think is very fair to the Federal Ministry of Health who are the employers of the doctors. We are all gathered here and the Ministry of Health looks like they are already being short changed because by section 18 of the Trade Dispute Act of the Federation, T8, T9, 2004, once conciliation starts, no party is allowed to stage a lock out either for employees or embark on strike against the employers.” 
 
The minister maintained that if there were issues in the CBA over which NARD felt that their interest was not properly taken care of, they would have written to the ministry as well as come back for a conciliatory meeting. 
 
“The alternative would not have been to embark on a strike. That is not industrial relations,” the minister said. 
 
Ngige emphasized the importance of medical services which he said informed swift action by the government to reconvene a meeting few hours after the doctors embarked on the strike. 
 
On his part, the NMA President, Dr. Mike Ozovehe Ogirima said, “We have listened to you and that is why we are here. We hope that the trust that was not there when MoU was signed will be restored at this meeting and once that trust is restored and evidences of implementations of the six-point demand are seen, I hope this will be the shortest strike by resident doctors.” 
 
The meeting was still on as at the time of filing this report at the conference room of the Ministry of Labour and Employment. 
 
Meanwhile, the Minister of Labour and Employment Dr Chris Ngige yesterday said that a crucial conciliatory meeting has been scheduled for today with the President and other executives of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
 
The Minister said that the meeting would have in attendance officials of the Federal Ministry of Education led by the minister, Mallam Adamu Adamu and other stakeholders to find solutions to the lingering  strike action  declared by ASUU. 
 
By: Mustapha Suleiman
Daily Trust News

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