INDICATIONS have emerged that National Council on Establishments, NCE, has taken steps to correct its earlier controversial vesting of the authority to regulate Pharmaceutical Technologists and Pharmacy Technicians in the Pharmacy Council of Nigeria, PCN, thereby calming industrial restiveness in the health sector.
It will be recalled that Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, had not only protested to the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation, but taken Pharmacy Council of Nigeria, PCN to a High Court in Lagos.
Its argument that Pharmacy Technicians and Pharmaceutical Technologists are bonafide cadres with their own institutionalized mechanisms and processes for regulation, and practice in general had carried the day, leading to a subsisting court ruling in its favour.
This development further highlights the need for the Trade Union Side of the National Joint Public Service Negotiating Council to be part of NCE meetings. Obviously, the only reason why the court ruling was never mentioned and a wrong decision was taken in the first place was because trade unions are not represented in NCE meetings.
In a letter to the Secretary-General of MHWUN dated July 26, 2012, Charles Bonat, Permanent Secretary (ERO) on behalf of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation noted that “there was no mention of a subsisting court ruling on the matter(s) when they were presented and considered at the last National Council on Establishments (NCE) meeting which took the decision(s). Accordingly, steps have been taken to expunge the said items from the communiqué of the last NCE meeting.”