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Crisis looms as Edo health workers protest over new pay structure

By Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City   |   21 September 2015   |   2:28 am  

PHOTO: wagehourinsights

PHOTO: wagehourinsights

CRISIS looms in the health sector of Edo State as primary healthcare assistants yesterday protested over alleged exclusion from the new Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) and Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) for their contemporaries at the local government, accusing the Association of Local Governments of Nigeria (ALGON) and the Local Government Service Commission for the development.

However, efforts to reach state chairman of ALGON, Mrs. Itohan Osahon-Ogbeide, were futile as calls placed to her phone were unanswered as at press time yesterday.

But addressing journalists yesterday under the aegis of Health Assistants and Attendants Association of Nigeria, the workers said they had been denied hazard allowance under a “mischievous guise” that they are not professionals and therefore should not be paid the perk.

A member told The Guardian that “few days ago, I assisted a doctor in conducting a caesarean operation and my hand gloves got torn unknown to me. Only for us to discover that the patient is HIV positive, yet these people say we should not be entitled to hazard allowance and other payments as provided by CONMESS and CONHESS. They do not even provide basic needs for our work. We buy our hand gloves ourselves and some other work tools,” he lamented.

President of the association, Ogbeide Osagie in a press briefing alleged that the leadership of the local government councils was brandishing a purported letter from the state government where they were allegedly excluded from the CONMESS and CONHESS.

He said they were employed under the health cadre as health assistants and attendants and “we are staff of the primary healthcare and environment health departments in the local government councils in Edo State and to the best of our knowledge, we have not erred and we have been doing our work judiciously and as of the last time we checked, the health assistants and attendants are still a cadre in the scheme of service under the Primary Health Care Department… If our colleagues in Hospital Management Board (HMB) and Central Hospital in the state can earn rural posting allowance, how come that those of us in primary health centre in the same local government cannot earn the same?” he queried.

The workers accused the council chairmen of plotting to cause industrial disharmony between them and their employers (the councils) and thereby cause industrial crisis in the state.

“The Comrade Governor has exhibited a high level of fatherliness to the health assistants and attendants in the state. So, for someone to wake up and begin to write letters all in the name of the Comrade Governor to us is a calculated attempt to destroy the image of the Comrade Governor,” they stated.



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