Nigerian Resident Doctors to Commence Five-Day Warning StrikeThe Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) has announced its plan to embark on a five-day warning strike starting from Wednesday. Dr Innocent Orji, the President of the association, made this disclosure during a discussion with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) following the conclusion of the National Executive Council (NEC) meeting.
The warning strike is scheduled to commence at 8am on Wednesday. On April 29, the association had issued a two-week notice to the Federal Government, demanding an increase in the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS). Failure to meet their demands could result in an industrial action.
According to the association’s requirements, the increment should amount to 200 percent of doctors’ current gross salary. It should also be accompanied by new allowances outlined in the letter sent to the Minister of Health in 2022, requesting a review of CONMESS. The association has observed a lack of progress despite numerous engagements with the Federal Government on the need for an upward revision of CONMESS, which has not been updated for over a decade.
“The Federal Government has neither initiated negotiations nor taken any meaningful steps to address the issue,” stated the association. It further highlighted the challenging economic climate in the country, the continuous decline in the value of the national currency, the impending removal of fuel subsidies, and the resulting impact on the cost of living.
NARD has previously issued ultimatums to the government regarding the review of the CONMESS salary structure. The previous Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) explicitly stated that the salary structure should undergo a review after five years. However, since its implementation in 2014 (approved in 2009), no revision has taken place.
Dr Orji expressed disappointment that the Federal Government had not reached out to NARD for negotiation despite the two-week notice.