The FG called all Unions in the health sector to a meeting to give an update on the agreements in the MOU referred above on Monday 8th June 2020 at the FMoLE and in attendance were NMA, NARD, JOHESU and its affiliated Unions as well as Hon. Minister of labour, Hon. Minister of State for health, Hon. Minister of State for labour, Chairman NSIWC, Accountant general of the federation, Permanent secretaries and DG IPPIS on the government side.
The President, Prof IAO Ujah mni directed clearly that the Committee should ensure a preservation of the earlier agreements and ensure relativity.
Below is a highlight of the updates given by government at the meeting.
- Hazard allowance
FG apologised for a delay in implementation and stated that the earlier agreement remains effective from April 2020 and that the arrears of two months shall hit accounts within the next 2 weeks. It also decided to allow health workers to continue to enjoy the existing hazard allowance in addition to this reviewed hazard. FG has however streamlined the scope of beneficiaries based on cost implications and the details of this shall be best ascertained upon implementation.
Government has procured one year of group life insurance for all health workers as agreed and also employee’s compensation. It however said ministry of health shall liaise with office of head of service in order to fine tune the processes so that these can be accessed.
- Review of retirement age
Ministry of health is to liaise with relevant organs of government to activate the roll over of health workers who are due for retirement as earlier agreed. Meanwhile, upon exit of COVID peak government will activate the process to review the retirement age as earlier agreed.
- Tax rebate
There will be tax waiver on the special hazard allowance as it will come separate from the salary but same could not be extended to other professional allowances because of limitations of the tax laws.
Government promised to escalate measures to ensure that the supply of PPEs to our hospitals is upscaled moving forward.
- Advisory to States
Ministry of health to execute this mandate in liaison with other organs of FG in order to facilitate States to key into this agreement to the extent of their capabilities.
It is important to note that our agreements as contained in the signed MOU remain valid and all the updates above are memorandum of actions on the part of government.
It is also worthy of note that government demonstrated renewed commitment to fulfilling the agreements.