*Wages Commission reverses placement on CONUAS
*MEDCAN meets today to decide on industrial action
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
In a bid to avert looming strike by the Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria, MEDCAN, the National Salaries Income and Wages Commission, NSIWC, has halted movement of consultants from CONMESS to CONUAS salary scale.
Sunday Vanguard gathered that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, who is the Conciliator-in-Chief of the Federal Government, has directed NSIWC to stop the implementation of what some health workers described as ‘obnoxious circular’ because of its effect on the health sector.
Meanwhile, MEDCAN has fixed today (Sunday) to take a stand on whether to proceed on strike.
MEDCAN is a group of senior doctors who teach resident doctors aspiring to become specialists and consultants.
The body had, on July 26, 2021, issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to reverse the removal of consultants from CONMESS to CONUA salary scale by universities who placed them on CONMESS after appointment about 10 years ago.
The letter, which moved them to CONUAS, came through a circular by NSIWC to the Accountant General of the Federation(ACGF) with reference No. SWC /5/04/S.410/T86 and dated 23rd April, 2021.
The letter requested that all medical doctors in the employment of universities and who do extra clinical teaching of medical students or pre-clinical teaching of medical students in the colleges of medicine should all be moved from CONMESS to CONUAS salary structure.
The doctors claimed that the letter “has resulted in the loss of some allowances and even basic pay with the attendant loss of income.”
Sunday Vanguard further gathered that MEDCAN had, sequel to the new development, approached the NSIWC for reversal but met a brick wall.
The doctors then approached the court and secured an injunction against NSIWC and ACGF but both again refused to bulge.
A source privy to the matter said that the Minister of Labour and Employment, as government conciliatory, waded into the matter on August 6, 2021 knowing that the consultants are the only ones now offering services in the various hospitals and medical centres, following resident doctors’ strike.