Rivers health workers threaten court action over poor welfare, issue ultimatum

Rivers health workers threaten court action over poor welfare, issue ultimatum

Alfred Olufemi<

The Rivers State branch of the​ National Association of Primary Healthcare workers has issued a 21-day ultimatum to the state warning that it would seek redress in court if the fail to accede to its welfare demands.

The association disclosed this in a statement it issued over the weekend signed by its Chairman, Comrade Daniel Atiemie. 

According to the statement obtained by PUNCH Healthwise, the workers are protesting the non-promotion, non-payment of Consolidated Health Salary Structure, and non-implementation of the minimum wage among other issues.

Comrade Atiemie in the statement urged​ the state to address all issues or leave them with the option of resuming a pending suit before the National Industrial Court.

“The State Government’s refusal to transfer Primary Health Care Workers salaries to the state in utter disregard and breach of the Rivers State Primary Health Care Management Board Law No.10, 2010. Being a law duly enacted by the Rivers State Government. 

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“These and other issues formed the basis of a lawsuit instituted by the Association at the National Industrial Court, against the Wike led Rivers State Government to press home our demands. 

“The Rivers State Government upon four consecutive appearances applied for the settlement of the matter out of Court.

“We accepted and the chief among the terms of settlement is the transfer of the PHC workers’ salaries which is believed to take care of and address the other issues. 

“The Government made an attempt which we view as a ploy to pacify the angry and already agitated health workers by conducting personnel audit and biometric exercise. As evidence, Staff ID cards were issued in bad faith and nothing happened again till now that we are making this report.

“It is, therefore, our firm and unanimous resolve to resume the said National Industrial Court Suit we have temporarily applied to discontinue as to press home our demands,” the statement read.

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The association disclosed that the 21-day-ultimatum started on March 29, noting that it will expire on April 18.

When PUNCH Healthwise contacted Rivers State Commissioner for Information, Paulinus Nsirim, on Monday, he asked that our correspondent send a text. 

Meanwhile, he was yet to respond to the text message sent to him as of the time of filing this report. 

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