NAFDAC staff embark on strike over poor work environment, allowances, others

…says drivers furnish, buy fans for office use

By Hassan Zaggi

The National Agency for Food and Drug Administration and Control’s (NAFDAC) branch of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), has declared a 7-day warning strike over poor working environment, severance allowances and other demands.

In a statement signed by the Union’s Vice Chairman (Public Relation Officer), Comrade Ejor Michael, and made available to journalists, Thursday, the Union disclosed that it is worried with what it described as the “not so conducive working environment in some of our offices and the non-equipping of the driver’s office particularly in Isolo, Lagos where drivers spend their personal money to put the office in good working condition.

“For instance, the situation where members of staff procure fans for office used by them was viewed as not normal and no longer acceptable.”

The Union listed their grievances to include payment of promotion arrears, upward review of job specific allowance in line with minimum wage, trainings, complaint on delayed financial claims by staff, working environment, severance allowance, discriminatory payment of covid-19 palliative and staff bus.

According to the statement: “The Union is demanding for the payment of promotion arrears for 2018 and 2019 promotions owed their members (NAFDAC Staff). More worrisome is that, 2020 promoted staff will soon join the queue. This request has lingered for too long hence the strike action.

“Job specific allowance paid to staff of NAFDAC has not been reviewed for the past 10 years or so. Usually, every allowance increases correspondingly with increase in salary. But unfortunately, this has not been so with regard to the Job Specific Allowance. The Union is, therefore, demanding for a review of the said Job Specific Allowance in line with the current National Minimum Rate .

“The Management of NAFDAC hides under COVID-19 to avoid training of staff, despite the fact that trainings have resumed in other MDAs. The Union demands immediate resumption of training for their members.

“The Union is alarmed at the rate at which financial claims by staff are delayed without reasons given for non-payment not even to communicate the affected staff.

“The Union demands the immediate payment of all pending financial claims by their members.”

The statement further said: “The Union frowns at the suspension of Severance Allowance being paid to retirees despite the fact that this allowance has been approved by NAFDAC Governing Council and is contained in the Condition of Service for NAFDAC staff.

“The Union leadership is demanding for the immediate resumption of payment of this allowance to deserving beneficiaries.

“The Union is also demanding the purchase of staff busses for their members to alleviate the hardship associated with transportation to work.

“The Union particularly frowns at the poor conditions of staff buses used by staff and in some cases, some routes where staff live do not have buses.

“It is worthy of note, the NAFDAC Management is more concern with the procurement of Hilux Vehicles, as the Management recently purchased well over 50 Hilux Vehicles.

“The Union also frowns at the discriminatory payment of COVID-19 Palliative (allowance) by percentage as used by NAFDAC and or the non -payment of some staff.”

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