9th March, 2013
Striking workers at Nigeria’s National Hospital, Abuja, on Saturday suspended the indefinite strike they started on Thursday over non-implementation of their revised conditions of service.
Members of Senior Staff Association, Association of Nurses and Midwives and Medical Health Workers Union began the indefinite strike at 4 p.m. on Thursday after a three-day warning strike.
During the warning strike, from Tuesday to Thursday, the workers stayed away from work from 8 a.m. to noon each day.
Dr Tayo Haastrup, the Head, Management Information Service of the hospital, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that work resumed on Saturday morning at the hospital.
Haastrup said the management and the union leaders held a meeting on Friday with Mrs Fatimah Bamidele, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, to discuss the contentious issues.
“The permanent secretary called a meeting with the union leaders and the management of the hospital; so, we were able to resolve some of the issues that led to the strike. The union leaders thereafter said that they would suspend the strike and that all the agreements which had been reached should be implemented,’’ he said.
Dr Kilani Jelili, the Chairman of Senior Staff Association, who also spoke to NAN, confirmed that the strike had been suspended.
He said the unions decided to suspend the strike because patients were at risk. “We decided to suspend the strike because of the patients; we cannot allow them to suffer,’’ Jelili said.
He said most of the contentious issues were agreed on at the meeting, adding that some of decisions would be implemented soon. “We will see how things play out. It is not only about our welfare; all we want is an atmosphere conducive to carrying out our services effectively.For instance, the equipment is obviously not adequate of us in the hospital; they should be provided to enable us work better,’’ he said.