BY CHIOMA OBINNA
LAGOS – BARING last minute intervention, Lagos State Chapter of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, will today begin an indefinite strike, following the expiration of its seven-day ultimatum to the state government, yesterday.
The nurses, who are demanding the full implementation of the Consolidated Health Salary Scale, CONHESS, said they will withdraw their services to patients in all the state hospitals.
The chairman of the association, Mr. Isaiah Badejo, who disclosed this after the nurses congress in Lagos, yesterday, said with the collapsed salary scale, the state government was only implementing 25 percent of CONHESS.
Badejo said, “we have run out of patience. We are grossly surcharged with the new salary structure. The amount added to the salary is only a token.
With this collapsed salary scale, those on Step 1- 6 in CONTISS will automatically come down to Step 1.While those on Step 7 and above will now be on Step 2. By this, the state government has not been implementing the CONHESS point to point.”
According to him, the state government had refused to accede to their demands, saying it lacked the funds to pay the salary scale as it can only accommodate step 1 to step 2 in the 2011 Appropriation Law.
The nurses are also demanding the payment of eight months salary arrears of clinical duties allowances owed by the local government area.
Lagos doctors have been on strike for over four weeks. As nurses join them, what does this portend for the suffering masses?
Badejo who stated that the nurses were not happy to go on strike said the nurses have ran out of patient as they have been on ground since the doctors started their strike.