THE Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) has appealed to the Federal Government to implement the COVID-19 hazard allowance agreement to be paid to all medical workers.
In a letter to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige on Tuesday in Abuja and signed by the union Chairman Mr Biobelemoye Josiah and Acting Secretary, Mr Matthew Ajorutu,
JOHESU members noted that they will not wait until post-COVID-19 for their allowances to be paid as government have left out payments of medical workers.
They said that the union’s decision to write to the minister was hinged on the recently released N4 billion for National Association of Residence Doctors (NARD).
The union said that the prompt payment to NARD without JOHESU members is a thing of worry, and the plea for understanding due to paucity of funds can no longer be accepted by the members.
JOHESU pointed out that those not captured in the payment include the National Abovirus Vector and Research Centres (NACRC), Enugu and the National Veterinary Research Institute (NVRI) Vom, Plateau State.
Other are the National Tuberculosis and Leprosy Training Centres in Saye, Zaria, National Obstetric Fistula Centre, Abakaliki (NOFIC), Katsina, and health clinics in universities.
The union called on the Secretary to the Government of the Federation and Minister of Health for immediate implementation of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entered on April 21.
“The elasticity of our members is at the breakpoint and we can no longer guarantee industrial peace and harmony in the Health Sector because our members are restive since the Federal Government approved pay,ent to NARD,” JOHESU said.I
The MoU stated that the Federal Government agrees to shelve the payment of the existing Hazard Allowance of N5,000 being paid across board to health workers.
According to the MoU, in its place, a Special COVID-19 Hazard and Inducement Allowance of 50 per cent of the Consolidated Basic Salary is to be paid to health workers in all Federal Government Teaching Hospitals and Federal Medical Centres and designated COVID-19 Centres and Primary Healthcare Centres to last for the first three months in the first instance.
“Forty per cent of Consolidated Basic Salary would be paid as Special COVID-19 Hazard and Inducement Allowance to healthcare workers at Special non-Public Hospitals and Clinics in the Federal Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) for same three months period.
“Twenty per cent of the Consolidated Basic Salary will be paid as Special Risk Allowance additionally on the Special COVID-19 Hazard and Inducement Allowance to all health workers directly managing COVID-19 at the Infectious Diseases Hospitals, Isolation and Treatment Centres.
“Ten per cent of Consolidated Basic Salary would be paid to non-core medical professionals working in the health sector and operating at the aforementioned hospitals/clinics as Special Allowance for the COVID-19 period – three months first instance,” the MoU stated.