Striking resident doctors in Nigeria and other concerned health workers will not be paid for the period they are on strike, the federal government has declared.
According to a memo, as it affects the ongoing strike by the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), the Ministry of Labour and Employment has advised the Federal Ministry of Health to implement the ‘no work, no pay’ directive for the striking doctors.
To this end, the Ministry of Health has also dispatched letters instructing Chief Medical Directors and Managing Directors of federal tertiary hospitals to implement the ‘no work, no pay’ policy.
Naija News recalls the resident doctors had on August 2, 2021, commenced an indefinite strike action accusing the federal government of failing to implement agreements it had with their union on issues including salaries, hazard allowances, and others.
After fresh rounds of negotiations, the federal government presented a Memorandum of Understanding to the striking doctors.
Shockingly, however, the resident doctors told the federal government they won’t sign the memorandum of understanding put on the table by the government team.
The doctors accused the government of insincerity in its dealings, hence their inability to trust what is contained in the memorandum again since they’ve been deceived previously.
But on Monday, 23rd August, the National Industrial Court, Abuja Division, ordered the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) to suspend its nationwide strike.
Reacting to the court order, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige said it won’t stop the federal government from implementing its own side of the agreement in the fresh memorandum of understanding put on the negotiation table with stakeholders in the health sector over the weekend.
But according to a directive contained in a letter dated August 26, 2021 and signed by the Director of Hospital Services, Federal Ministry of Health, Dr. Adebimpe Adebiyi, the federal government has ordered the implementation of the no work, no pay rule.
The letter was titled “Application of Section 43(1) (A) of the Trade Dispute Act, Cap T8, Law of the Federation of Nigeria (LGN) 2004 (no work no pay) partly,” reads:
“The ministry is in receipt of the letter from the Ministry of Labour and Employment informing the ministry of the laws governing the ongoing strike by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors and the need to immediately apply the provisions of the Section 43 (1) (a) of the Trade Dispute Act on ‘special provision with respect to payment of wages during strike and lockouts’ known in labour parlance as no-work-no-pay with effect from Monday, August 2, 2021 when the strike was commenced by NARD members.
“Consequently on the above, I am directed to inform you to commence the implementation of the no-work-no-pay policy on the striking doctors including other workers that may embark on strike consequently.
“This directive is in line with Section 43 (1) (a) of the trade dispute act which inter alia states ‘where any worker takes part in a strike, he shall not be entitled to any wages or remuneration for the period of the strike.
“And any such period shall not account for the purpose of reckoning the period of continuous employment and all rights dependent on continuity of employment shall be prejudicially affected accordingly.
“You are to compute the financial implications of the no-work-no-pay from the salaries of resident doctors and any other health worker that participated in strike using the attached template and forward same to the IPPIS office through the Federal Ministry of Health for implementation.”
Meanwhile, the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has insisted that its ongoing industrial action would not be suspended.