By CHIOMA OBINNA
LAGOS – The Lagos State branch of the National Association of Nurses and Midwives, NANNM, has suspended its 12 days strike, following a documented agreement by the state government to implement 100 percent of the Consolidate Health Salary Structure, CONHESS, point to point.
The nurses were expected to resume work immediately.
Addressing journalists after its congress in Lagos, state chairman of NANNM, Elder Isaiah Badejo, said the strike was suspended following resolutions reached at the meeting between the executive members of the National Association of Nurses and Midwives, Monday, March 28.
According to him, the State government in a documented agreement after the meeting agreed that officers would migrate to appropriate grade level /step on the Lagos State health Professional Salary Structure (LAHPSS) as it affects nurses and midwives, based on the number of years spent on their respective grade level /step in the old salary structure with effect from 1st April 2011 unlike the recent Lagos State CONHESS, where only step 1 and 2 were approved.
Other agreements reached include; that officers who have stagnated at the bar of their respective cadres would also be treated using the above principle and years of stagnation with effect from 1st April, 2011.
On other demands that led to the strike, he announced that the government has also agreed to pay the arrears of eight months clinical duty allowance to nurses in the local government employment as soon as financial implications of the arrears as well as other administrative procedures are concluded.
He further stated that the government also promised that no member of the association would be victimized as a result of the industrial action.
Giving further reasons why the strike was called off, Badejo who regretted the hardship the strike must have caused Lagosians said it was also to prove to the Lagos State government that the strike has no political undertone as well as give our support for the governor, Babatunde Fashola and stop the unnecessary loss of lives in the hospitals.
“We considered the nature of our profession, we are nurses who are trained to care and save lives, and we cannot afford to watch more people die. When doctors were on strike not less than 2000 deliveries were taken by the nurses alone and the hospitals were still functioning. We also want to show the state government that no political party is sponsoring us and that nurses are not politicians and that we have no plans to sabotage the effort of anybody”
On possibility of bridge of agreement by the government, he warned that the leadership would not hesitate to call a congress at the end of April if the government fails to implement the agreement.
His words, “It is a close ended agreement with effect from April 1st. At the end of April if the government fails to honour the agreement we will call the congress to take further action.”