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UGONSA CONDEMNS THE ARREST OF AGGRIEVED NURSES BY NANNM

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UGONSA CONDEMNS THE ARREST OF AGGRIEVED NURSES BY NANNM

 The University Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA) also known as, Graduate Nurses Association of Nigeria (GNAN), Ebonyi State Chapter, a professional body of nurses with a minimum academic qualification of first degree in nursing (BSc. Nursing, or B.NSc.)  has condemned in strong terms the recent arrest of some aggrieved nurses by the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM).

In a statement jointly signed by the Ebonyi State Chairman and Secretary of UGONSA, Nurse Ekum-Ojim Cynthia and Nurse Agbo Gabriel, the association decried that it was unthinkable that the leadership of NANNM will spend nurses money to get police from force headquarters Abuja to whisk their fellow nurses all the way from Abakaliki to Abuja simply for crying out that cutting 3% of their salary every month as union Checkoff dues (COD) was outrageous and chocking and opting to pull out of NANNM if the COD is not reduced to a flat rate of N1000 (one thousand naira) as is obtainable in other unions.
UGONSA CONDEMNS THE ARREST OF AGGRIEVED NURSES BY NANNM
“We do not need any legal practitioner to remind us that freedom of association and freedom of expression of opinions are “inalienable and fundamental human rights”. The aggrieved nurses have not violated any law for expressing their view against the 3% COD which in every sense is inhuman and outrageous. They did not also commit any offense for choosing to de-unionize from NANNM pending when one-thousand naira flat rate is adopted as COD.
“This is especially as the Trade Union Act 2005 upon which NANNM and other trade unions operate explicitly stipulated that an employee joining a trade union must be voluntary and out of free volition and that no employer or trade union shall coerce or intimidate employees to join a trade union.

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“Getting police from the force headquarters to whisk the aggrieved nurses to Abuja for pulling out of NANNM over the 3% COD which they considered outrageous and unbearable considering the current economic reality amounted to use of coercion  and intimidation to force them to remain members of NANNM. Such violates the provision of the Trade Union Act 2005 and we strongly condemn it.

“For the umpteenth time, we align with the national leadership of UGONSA and call on the leadership of NANNM to hearken to common sense and logic and reduce the monthly COD to a thousand naira flat rate as demanded by the aggrieved nurses.
It is imperative to state so considering that the 3% COD and other monies realized from other NANNM assets are simply for consumption and not used for any project. Whenever NANNM wants to embark on any project, it also burdens the poor nurses, whose back has been broken by the fangs of the unbearable 3% COD, with multiple levies.  Nurses are the largest workforce in the healthcare industry and if every nurse contributes one thousand naira every month to NANNM, it should be more than enough for recurrent expenditures if properly put to use.
“This misguided arrest of the aggrieved nurses has put our dear noble profession on a dark spot in the public space. The leadership of NANNM should show remorse for this gaffe and offer apology to the aggrieved nurses who have been physically and psychologically abused and promptly calm frayed nerved by reverting COD to one-thousand naira flat rate.

Our strength lies in our unity. The earlier the demand of the aggrieved nurses is met the better. As it stands now more nurses are planning to withdraw their membership of NANNM because of the unbearable burden of the 3% COD. The situation can only be arrested by dialogue and hearkening to their demand which in all ramification is germane, and not by intimidation and indiscrete arrests as was ignobly done by bringing police in Gestapo style from force headquarters to whisk them away for elaborating their constitutionally guaranteed fundamental human right, the statement concluded.

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