Friday, 1 June 2012

JAF's Statement on the Suspension of the Sack of Lagos Doctors


RE: Suspension of the Sack of Lagos Doctors
1.    The attention of Joint Action Front (JAF) has been drawn to the widely media report, that the Lagos State Government, yesterday afternoon, has suspended the sack of the 788 doctors it illegally relieved of their employment for embarking on a legitimate strike action.
2.    The media statement credited to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, immediate past Governor of Lagos State reads in parts that: “The Governor (Raji Fashola, SAN) has agreed to suspend the dismissal of the doctors and advice that they should go back to their duty posts and follow the right procedure. I don’t see a point of no return here and since people are the cornerstone of the progressive policy of the state, I want to thank the Governor for looking at it from the point of view of the people. “I want to advice and appeal to the doctors to immediately resume their work in earnest and forget this intractable position”.
3.    JAF wants Lagosians, Nigerians and the international public to note that what Governor Fashola and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) did by the recall of the doctors, was simply to reverse the illegal sack and their crude arrogance. The retreat by the Lagos State Government becomes inevitable in the face of mass resistance by Lagos Medical Guild, Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), JAF, Organised Private Sector unions in Lagos including Lagos NUPENG (National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers) and the massive support by the working people and patriots across the country and beyond.
4.    JAF has consistently maintained that the executive lawlessness of the Lagos State Government violates national and international labour laws and conventions.
5.    However, it is germane to state that the reversal of the illegal sack of the 788 doctors and the Lagos Government’s earlier denunciation of its eviction order on doctors from government quarters, has not in any way address the substantive issue.
6.    It should be noted that the Lagos Medical Doctors went on Strike because the Lagos State Government failed to implement Collective Agreements reached with them in April 2011 on the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS).
JAF wants to bring to the attention of Lagosians, Nigerians and the international public that the issues for which the doctors went on strike remain germane to the resolution of the avoidable disputes created by the Lagos State Government. We therefore urge NMA, NARD, NUPENG, Labour unions and all other patriotic organisations and individuals to continue the resistance until the Lagos Government address the issues as restated below:
i.   The demotion of ALL doctors to grade steps 1 and 2 of their various levels and Demoting the entry level for specialists from GL 15 step 4 to GL 15 step 1. The demotion which, not only undermine the seniority status and income due to different ranks of doctors, but also is contrary to the Lagos State Civil Service rules, the agreement on CONMESS and rules and regulations governing wage adjustment in labour matters.
ii.  Reneging on the payment of teaching allowance to GL 10 (House officers) and GL 12 (Medical Officers and Registrars). There is a circular to the effect that these two categories of doctors are entitled to teaching allowance. Moreso, it should be stated that House officers/Medical officers teach, contrary to the falsehoods and misinformation being perpetrated by Lagos State officials.
iii.                 Selective implementation of CONMESS as it relates to the Entry level of Medical Officers and Registrars on GL 12 step 1 instead of GL 12 step 2. This divisive plot put some of the medical officers in Lagos Government employment at a disadvantage to their professional counterparts where CONMESS is fully implemented.
iv. Failure to review its imposition on higher taxes on wages. The deliberate tax policy is to short-change the Doctors and to ensure that they do not enjoy the full compliments of their wage and welfare benefits as contained in the Agreement on CONMESS.
The Lagos Doctors can only be expected to go back to work if the Lagos Government would be responsible to immediately and unconditionally meet the demands for the full implementation of CONMESS.
 Dr. Oladipo Fashina                               Comrade Abiodun Aremu
JAF Chairperson                                     JAF Secretary

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