Health Workers Suspend Strike Action
- Promise To Resume Work Today
The National Health Workers of Association of Liberia (NAHWAL) including nurses at the Country’s leading referral hospital, the John F. Kennedy Memorial have agreed to suspend the ongoing nationwide strike action organized nearly a week ago following series of negotiations between the leadership of NAHWAL and the government through the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare.
According to the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between the government and health workers say they will return to their respective assignments on Monday, September 30, 2019, while the Government of Liberia agreed to fast-track health workers’ salary payments.
The MOU also called on government to improve incentives for health workers and put in place measures to make salary current.
Health workers in Liberia through the National Health Workers Association staged a nationwide strike in demand of salary payment and improved benefits following government’s harmonization policy that has reportedly affected some 10, 200 civil servants including health workers who are said to have been benefiting extra-earnings above other civil servants in the same category.
Health workers at JFK took to the streets Wednesday under a heavy downpour of rain in demand of their salaries.
At least the deaths of two were reported as associated consequents of the health workers’ strike action. Some patients in Monrovia also set roadblocks in demand of the return of health worker to work and attend to them.
The Government harmonization policy has been greeted by controversies, sparking some serious debates in many corners because of the difficulty the government is experiencing and the limited public awareness about the process.
The government said salaries of health workers have been remitted to the accounts of health workers who went on strike due to their reported salaries delay.
In the MoU, MoH committed itself to pay four years retroactive salaries to the previously dismissed leadership of NAHWAL; payment of said retroactive salaries shall be done in two installments beginning October 31 to November 20, 2019.
While NAHWAL agreed to call off its go-slow action, which began on Monday, September 23, health facilities will reopen in 24-hour across the country.