Sequel to the ultimatum issued to Kaduna state government by medical doctors and other health workers threatening to embark on industrial action for a reversal of the reduction wages/salary by 25 percent.
Kaduna state government has issued a statement threatening to sack any health worker who fails to show up for work saying it is “criminal” to declare a strike action amidst the coronavirus pandemic.
The state government while speaking via a statement by Muyiwa Adekeye, the Special Adviser to the Governor Nasir El-Rufai, on Media and Communication, said any health worker who fails to show up for work would be treated as an absentee who has gone ‘Away Without Leave(AWOL)’.
He said his government would not be bent by the strike action into excluding health workers from the mandatory donation of 25% salary by all civil servants to fund the provision of palliatives for vulnerable people impacted by the lockdown.
The governor clarified that the salary deductions introduced in April 2020 apply to everyone who works for the state government from the governor to the most junior civil servant with take-home pay of more than N50, 000 monthly, stressing that it does not favour or discriminate against any professional group in the public service.
The state health workers are threatening the strike action despite the payment of daily incentives of between N5, 000 and N15, 000 to frontline health workers in the state as well as a monthly incentive of 10% of net pay for other health workers in public hospitals and primary health centres.
The government has also provided them with additional insurance coverage for death and disability to the tune of N5 million for death and N2.5 million for disability while Covid-19 infection cover of N100, 000 for 10 days.
Government rejects the strike threat and will regard persons who fail to show up at their assigned places of work as having forfeited their employment,” it stated.
“Every effort will be made to ensure that health facilities keep functioning, staffed by willing workers who will be guaranteed free and safe access to health facilities.
“Those who are not willing to work are strongly warned against criminal action such as attempts to impede access to workplaces, harass willing workers or to sabotage facilities and equipment,” it further stated.
The state government will not be misled into granting health workers a special status amongst public servants.”
“Government will not be browbeaten by strike action into excluding health workers from the sacrifices being made by other public servants who are donating 25 percent of their salary to fund the provision of palliatives for low-income, poor and vulnerable persons that are impacted by the lockdown.”