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Strike: ODSG appeals for more dialogue

By Kemi Olatunde

Ondo State Government has called for more dialogue to prevent the proposed strike by the state chapter of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA).
Head of Service, Pastor Kayode Ogundele stated this while responding to the seven-day ultimatum given by Ondo NMA to government to meet their demands.
“Government note with concern, the issues raised by the state NMA at its Ordinary General Meeting and their resolve to embark on a strike action if their demands were not met within seven days,” he said.
While stating that government is not unmindful of the situation in the health sector, he said that it is expected that the NMA should not forget to appreciate the sincere gesture of the state government who, according to him, is among the first to approve 100 percent hazard allowance for its health workers, saying “this was confirmed through the circular issued thereafter.”
He explained that government has commenced the process of employing 1,000 health workers to fill critical vacancies created particularly by the ‘Japa’ syndrome with the almost concluded ongoing interview at the Civil Service Commission.
The HoS further said, “the assertion that the Government has not taken any step to act on the payment of the hazard allowance cannot be true in view of the constant interface we have been having with the NMA chairman where he has been consistently informed that the issue of special allowances is not only limited to health workers and what we are working on is to tackle them holistically so as not to give a wrong impression to those other categories of workers and make them feel they are being treated as inferior.
“We have always assured them all that having worked out the huge monthly implications of the allowances in the midst of other competing demands for the welfare of the entire state, genuine effort is ongoing to ensure that this is cleared soonest just as we have done with all outstanding allowances of workers in the state.
“Doctors should also appreciate the fact that they have been part of the ₦35,000 wage award as well as other welfare programmes currently put in place for workers in the state.”

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