Hazard Allowance Cold war between clinical and non clinical staff
Negotiations on the review of hazard allowance for healthcare workers as rightly observed by keen followers of the process has taken longer than expected with government making various offers which were rejected by unions in the healthcare sector.
Unions within the Heath sector have been sharply divided with the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) favouring a percentage of basic salary as hazard and the Joint Health sector Unions (JOHESU) which is an amalgamation of “all” other unions in the sector which has been described by many as a marriage without dowry favouring a flat rate across board.
Government on the other hand seem to favour the view of JOHESU with a little sang which is a dividing line between what clinical and non clinical staff should earn as hazard allowance, as it is the view of government that workers in the health sector are not exposed to hazard uniformly hence should not earn the same amount as compensation for the danger they confront on the job.
The angle of the federal government seem to hold more water as a cleaner or laundry staff working in the clinical area can’t be compared to a messenger or clerical officer working in the admin department of the same facility, neighther can a Nurse and an accountant be views as being exposed to same clinical hazard.
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JOHESU who is supposed to represent both clinical and non clinical unions within it’s fold seem more keen at protecting the interest of only non clinical staff as seen with their latest threat to go on strike if government goes ahead to pay hazard allowance along the line of level of exposure.as it had already accepted disparity by allowing a division into senior and junior staff which didn’t exist in the previous rate of sixty (60) thousand naira PA.
It is clear now to all clinical unions such as the National Association of Nigerian Nurses And Midwives (NANNM), the Pharmaceutical Society Of Nigeria (PSN) etc that they are concubines in the marriage called JOHESU as they seem to have less rights in this marriage of inconvenience as those who consider them selves legally married into the union.
It is high time clinically oriented professional come together under an umbrella eg Association Of Clinical Practitioners of Nigeria (ACPN) to pursue issues of mutual benefits as a clinician can’t be represented by a non clinician who understands nothing about issues we face on the job.
In the spirit of equity, Justice and fairness it is believed that the government would reach a fair compromise that would ensure that those that deserve to be compensated for their sacrifices get their due.
Writer: ABDULLAHI GARBA MUSTAPHA