By Samuel Oyadongha – Yenogoa
The Bayelsa State Chapter of Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) has suspended the industrial action embarked upon by its members on Feburary 12.
Chairman of MHWUN, Bayelsa State, Barnabas Simon, on Sunday, said the decision to suspend the strike was taken after a meeting of the State Executives of the union last Friday in Yenagoa.
According to him, the decision is sequel to the approval of the implementation of primary health care workers promotion arrears with effect from March salary.
He said that the union also considered the very essential nature of health services provided by the primary health care workers across the eight council areas of the state in suspending the action to await the implementation of its demands.
Simon said the union took into consideration the health needs of people of Bayelsa who benefit from the services rendered at Primary Healthcare Centres and decided to return to work and give the government the benefit of the doubt.
He explained that the union had directed all its members to resume work at their various duty posts adding that normalcy would be fully restored by Monday, March 1.
The strike had shut down health services at Primary Health Centres across the state where pregnant women and nursing mothers in the rural areas often relied on for antenatal and child immunisation services.
The union appreciated the state government for the approval of implementation of the primary health care workers promotion, urged the government to meet other outstanding demands between now and the next three months.
“After a long period of negotiation between the Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria and the government, His Excellency, Gov Douye Diri of Bayelsa approved the implementation of the primary health care workers promotion with effect from March 2021 salary.
“The Union appreciates all efforts by the Bayelsa State Government for the approval of the implementation of primary health care workers promotions and arrears.
“It would be recalled that the union presented five demands of the primary health care workers but out of these five items, the government has only approved the promotions to be implemented from March, 2021 salary.
“While others including the salary arrears of between two months to 15 months remain pending, we decided to return to work to show good faith while we expect the government to reciprocate our gesture as we do not like to down tools.
“Due mainly to the humanitarian and public health needs of our people, we, therefore, requested all our members to resume normal work at their various duty posts beginning from February 26th, 2021 as the strike action is suspended.
“We appreciate all our members for their cooperation during the trying period and encourage them to be steadfast while we wait for the government to do the needful,” Simon said.