Health workers under the aegis of Kaduna State Health Care Workers Union and Associations have begun a seven-day warning strike.
The strike which commenced on Saturday followed the state government’s decision to deduct 25 per cent of their salaries, an action which they said was in violation of the Labour Act.
In a communique issued by the health workers, they said their decision to embark on the action was to force the state government to reverse its decision.
Meanwhile, the state government has warned that any health worker who embarked on the strike over its decision would be sacked.
Governor Nasir El-Rufai who gave the warning said his government would not be blackmailed.
The Special Adviser on Media and Communication to El-Rufai, Muyiwa Adekeye, had said, “Government rejects the strike threat and will regard persons who fail to show up at their assigned places of work as having forfeited their employment.
In the communiqué signed by Dr. Danjuma Sale, Dr. Emmanuel Joseph, Ibrahim Abashe and Dr. Stephen Kache, the health workers said they were not blackmailing the state.
The communiqué stated: “Kaduna State Government paid between N150,000 and N450,000 as occupational safety incentives to about 300 selected HCWs (health care workers) and non-HCWs working as staff or volunteers in the IDCC and isolation centres or serving in some of the COVID-19 pillars. Less than two per cent of the HCWs in the state benefited from the package.
“The promised 10 per cent incentives for other HCWs, though inadequate, has yet to be paid.
“Most health workers that were infected with COVID-19 are from health facilities outside the IDCC and isolation centres and none of them has been paid the purported N100,000 daily for 10 days.
“None of our members working in hospitals has been contacted to give their details for the widely publicised N5m and N2m life and disability insurance, respectively.
“All health workers are exposed to varying degrees of risk of infectious diseases such as COVID-19, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDs, Lassa fever, Ebola fever among others.
“No adequate PPEs in the state hospitals. Patients buy their own gloves.
“Health workers get their own face masks and protective goggles, among others.”