Strike: FG to adopt ASUU pay rise template for resident doctors

Oluwanifemi Ojo
Oluwanifemi Ojo
President of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors of Nigeria, Dr Emeka Orji

The Federal Government will likely adopt the pay rise template originally designed for the Academic Staff Union of Universities for its medical doctors.

The Punch reported that the decision comes as a response to the doctors’ demands for a pay rise which led to warning industrial action by the resident doctors.

A five-day warning strike started on May 17 to emphasize their demands after the 14-day ultimatum given to the government elapsed. The doctors are requesting an immediate increase of 200% in the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure, based on the current gross salaries of doctors.

Additionally, the doctors are calling for urgent hiring of more clinical staff in hospitals and the withdrawal of a proposed bill that would enforce a mandatory five-year service for medical and dental graduates in Nigeria before obtaining full licenses to practice, among other demands.

According to reports, the Federal Government proposed a 23.5 per cent pay increase for lecturers below the professorial cadre and a 35 per cent pay increase for junior professors and professors.

ASUU has not yet accepted this proposition or made an official statement regarding the percentage, but the union has been in disagreement with the government regarding salary structure reviews.

In a Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Federal Government and the Nigerian Medical Association, along with its affiliates such as NARD, the review of salaries was addressed in item eight.

The MoU stated that the National Salaries, Income & Wages Commission had not received any agreement between the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigerian Medical Association, and they requested the details of the agreement from the ministry. The response to this request is expected by May 23, 2023.

It stated, “National Salaries, Income & Wages Commission informed the meeting that the Commission has not received any agreement between the Federal Ministry of Health and the Nigerian Medical Association.
“A letter has been written to FMoH by NSIWC requesting them to provide the details of the Agreement. The Permanent Secretary is to provide a response to the letter of NSIWC by Tuesday, May 23, 2023.”

The MoU also mentioned that the National Salaries, Income & Wages Commission would use the percentage used for ASUU and other university unions as a basis, while also considering an increase in allowances. The raise in salary will be presented to the Presidential Committee on Salaries for final action, and the commission will issue the relevant circular seven days after the committee’s meeting.

The Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Chris Ngige, has not yet provided further information on the matter.

Meanwhile, the National President of NARD, Emeka Orji, mentioned in a Sunday interview with The Punch that an emergency National Executive Council meeting has been called due to the government’s 48-hour response deadline given to NARD.

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