Sources within the leadership of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, NANNM, Cross River State chapter are certain that nurses in the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, UCTH and the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, FNPH, Calabar, will join the three week old strike action embarked upon by their colleagues in the Cross River State civil service, over the contentious issue of a Level 13 officer believed to have been posted to superintend over a deputy director and a director.
Several meetings in the past days between the Chairman of the Civil Service Commission, Commissioner for Health, Chairman, Local Government Service Commission, on one hand and the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC and NANNM, on the other hand, ended in a deadlock, with Labour insisting that the posting must be reversed, even picketing a few government offices in the course of this disagreement.
One source who does not want his name in print told www.calitown.com that, “the Chairman of the Local Government Service Commission, has undermined all directives from the Head of Service and even the Deputy Governor, who ordered that the posting should be reversed”. The source further revealed that should the meeting between Labour and the Cross River State House of Assembly, holding today, Monday, February 13, fail to reach an agreement, “NANNM will withdraw the services of nurses in UCTH and FNPH. Apologies to the poor people that are suffering”, he concluded.
Should UCTH and FNPH nurses join the strike, the state may be unable to adequately cope with the effect of the strike action on the health sector. A few persons who bared their mind on the contentious issue believe that government officials who are insisting on setting a wrong precedence, “should feel ashamed of what they are doing. I think that where rules are clearly stated in issues like this, it is a form of illiteracy for anybody to insist on doing what is opposite”, one Eteng Ettah told www.calitown.com.
Government sources however maintain that NANNM and Labour in the state have “whipped unnecessary sentiments on this issue”. The sources further pointed to www.calitown.com that “the said senior nurses at the centre of this disagreement are already on terminal leave; these people just expect that we must all dance to the gallery and sheepishly tow their line, they are refusing to collaborate with government to ensure that we deliver in the health sector. Whatever happens, the final non-performance blame will be theirs since it is their intention to shut down our basic health system … God is with us all”.
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