The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) declared on Wednesday that all nurses and midwives at the local government, state and federal levels will commence “an indefinite and total strike” on Mondày, next week if the Federal Government failed to fully implement the judgment of the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) which was given 34 years ago, and the subsequent judgments recently delivered by the National Industrial Court (NIC) and the Court of Appeal.
However, considering the activities and killings by the Boko Haram sect in Borno State, the union exempted nurses and midwives in the state from the industrial action to avoid aggravating an bad security and social welfare situation in the state.
Addressing a press conference at its national headquarters in Abuja, the president of the union, Abdulrafiu Adeniji, frowned at the continuous refusal of the Federal Ministry of Health to comply with the IAP awards and the NIC judgment, saying that the nurses had been patient for 34 years.
According to the president, the decision to embark on the strike follows a seven-day ultimatum given to the Federal Government to comply with the final judgment of NIC after an appeal filed by the Ministry of Health was dismissed on Tuesday, January 2014 in the Court of Appeal, Abuja.
“The continuous refusal of the Federal Ministry of Health to comply in full with the implementation of IAP Awards and subsequent NIC judgments for the past 34 years can no longer be tolerated by the professional association of Nigeria nurses and midwives,” he declared.
Adeniji added: “Since nurses have maintained patience for 34 years from May 1981 when the Industrial Arbitration Panel award was given, coupled with the fact that subsequent NIC judgments and even the appeal filed by the Federal Ministry of Health were all in favour of NANNM, a seven-day ultimatum with effect from Friday, 14 February, 2014 has been given to the Federal Ministry of Health to implement the judgments in full, failure of which the entire nurses and midwives in the three tiers of government will commence an indefinite and total strike by 12 midnight of Sunday, 23 February 2014.”
He explained that on 7 May, 1981, the tribunal of the IAP gave awards to the NANNM which bordered on the professionalism of nursing, autonomy of the nursing profession, the scheme of service for nurses and many other issues.