By Asmau Ahmad
The Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), says it will commence a five-day warning strike on Wednesday.
President of the association, Dr Innocent Orji, disclosed this on Monday while speaking with newsmen on the outcome of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting.
According to him, the warning strike will begin by 8am on Wednesday.
The association had on April 29 issued a two-week notice to the Federal Government to increase the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) or risk industrial action.
It said at the time that the increment should be to the tune of 200 per cent of the current gross salary of doctors and also be in addition to the new allowances included in the letter written to the Minister of Health in 2022 for the review of CONMESS.
According to the association, it observed that in spite of several engagements with the Federal Government on the need to upwardly review CONMESS, which was last reviewed over 10 years ago, there are no changes.
“The Federal Government has neither called NARD to the negotiation table nor taken any tangible step in addressing the issue.
“This is against the background of the dwindling economic situation in the country, the serial abysmal decline in the value of the Naira, the imminent removal of fuel subsidy and the consequent damaging effect on the cost of living in the country.
“There have been previous ultimatums issued to the government by NARD on account of this problem of the review of the CONMESS salary structure.”
It added that the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) on CONMESS stated clearly that the salary structure would be due for review after five years, but this has not been done since the implementation in 2014, though the approval was given in 2009.
Dr Orji, however, said that since the issuance of the two-week notice the association had not been called upon by the Federal Government to initiate negotiations.