The federal government says it has agreed to meet all the demands of the striking resident doctors but the no-work, no-pay policy will be implemented.
The National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has been on strike for the past one month over “irregular payment of salaries”, among other issues.Efforts of stakeholders, including the house of representatives, to mediate between the federal government and the resident doctors did not yield desired results.The industrial court had restrained members of NARD from continuing with the action, after the federal government filed a suit against the association.
But the resident doctors refused to discontinue the strike amid the threat of a no-work, no-pay rule issued by the federal government.Speaking on the development after meeting with President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday, Ngige said the 12-point demands of NARD have been met but the enforcement of section 43 of the Trade Dispute Act during the period of strike remains effective.The labour minister said other unions in the country lost their wages when they embarked on strike.
Out of their 12-point issues raised in their demands, we have done all, we have come to agreements on all, including those that even affect the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria and medical doctors who are in academics and teaching universities,” he said.“So, we have handled it all, the only point of disagreement now is that they said that the agreements and the memorandum of action that Section 43 of the Trade Dispute Act will not apply to them.“That section says that when a worker withdraws his services from his employer, the employer is at liberty to withhold payment of emoluments to him and the ILO principles at work and strike said you can use that money to pay other people you have engaged in that particular period of strike.“That’s why overseas and in other climes, you don’t see strikes getting more than three days or four days or five days, highest. They only do picketing and things like that, because people’s lives are involved.”
On the legal action instituted by the federal government, the labour minister said the suit will be dropped if the resident doctors resume work.“I briefed Mr. President and we’ve agreed that they should come back to work and if they come back to work, we can take other things from there; we’ll drop the case in court and then they will come back and get things done,” he added.
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