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Despite El-rufai’s Warning, Kaduna Health Workers Begin Strike

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Two days after Governor Nasir El-Rufai warned health workers in Kaduna against going on strike, 11,000 health workers under the aegis of Kaduna State.

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Health Care Workers Union and Associations have begun a seven-day warning strike.

The health workers began the warning strike on Saturday, May 23, 2020, following the state government’s decision to deduct 25 per cent from their salaries.

In a communiqué on Saturday, the aggrieved health workers said the 25 per cent deduction was done in violation of the Labour Act.

Meanwhile, El-Rufai had threatened to sack any health worker that go on strike.

The state government had in a statement said it “rejects the strike threat and will regard persons who fail to show up at their assigned places of work as having forfeited their employment.”

The statement signed by Muyiwa Adeleke, Special Adviser on Media and Communication to the governor added that “To declare strike action amidst the COVID-19 pandemic is naked blackmail.”

But the health workers in a communiqué signed by Dr Danjuma Sale, Dr Emmanuel Joseph, Ibrahim Abashe and Dr Stephen Kache, denied any plan to blackmail the Kaduna State Government.

The communique reads,

“Kaduna State Government paid between N150,000 and N450,000 as occupational safety incentives to about 300 selected HCWs (health care workers) and non-HCWs working as staff or volunteers in the IDCC and isolation centres or serving in some of the COVID-19 pillars.

Less than two per cent of the HCWs in the state benefited from the package.

“The promised 10 per cent incentives for other HCWs, though inadequate, has yet to be paid.

“Most health workers that were infected with COVID-19 are from health facilities outside the IDCC and isolation centres and none of them has been paid the purported N100,000 daily for 10 days.

“None of our members working in hospitals has been contacted to give their details for the widely publicised N5m and N2m life and disability insurance, respectively.

“All health workers are exposed to varying degrees of risk of infectious diseases such as COVID-19, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDs, Lassa fever, Ebola fever among others.

“No adequate PPEs in the state hospitals. Patients buy their own gloves.

“Health workers get their own face masks and protective goggles, among others.”

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