By Chioma Obinna
The Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU, has urged the Federal government to ensure that the proposed upward review of hazard allowance in the health sector be based on the two decade hazard allowance template of flat pay across the board.
In a Memo/ Communiqué tagged: “Facts on the Issue of Hazard Allowance for Health Sector Workers in Government Health Establishment”, made available to Vanguard, signed by the National Chairman, JOHESU, Biobelemoye Joy Josiah, the health workers insisted that the format of flat pay for hazard allowance as prescribed by the Federal Ministry of Health at the inception of the Federal Government-Stakeholders’ dialogue was most apt in the circumstance.
They maintained that the proposed review should be predicated on the distinctive classification of medical and health workers as established in Nigeria by the relevant authorities in accordance with the extant schemes of service, rules and statues in the Nigerian Public service which rely on ranks (grade levels), hence pay relative approved salary structures viz the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure, CONMESS, and Consolidated Health Salary Structure, CONHESS and nothing else.
Biobelemoye argued that any template of hazard allowance that does not reflect flat pay for hazard across the board will not be accepted by the health workers’ unions.
He demanded that; “That any hazard allowance review not reflective of 1 and 2 above or that is based on a template in breach of our extant CBAs with the Federal government, the provisions section 17(3) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as Amended) and the ILO Convection C111 – No. 111, Article 1(1-3) to which Nigeria is a signatory will be unacceptable.
“Finally, JOHESU/AHPA has always maintained that there is a basic humanity that is shared by all Health workers which makes them all vulnerable to same general risk factors and hazards.
“This was the consideration in 2009 when equal hazard allowances were approved for all Health workers in Nigeria. In special situations like pandemics or epidemic, special inducement allowances which will focus on personnel skill levels and peculiarity of exposure may apply to take care of graded allowances.”
He stated that at any rate, the Federal government must continue to appreciate those huge differentials at entry point levels has more than taken care of relativity with regards to the generality of Health workers.
“JOHESU/AHPA therefore solicits an extremely careful appraisal of this memo that we avoid setting the Health Sector ablaze albeit inadvertently, “ he stated.