The Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) of the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) chapter, says its members will commence a three-day warning strike over the retirement letters issued to untenured doctors on Grade Level (GL) 17.
The doctors, in a letter to FCT minister Nyesom Wike, said the strike would begin at midnight on Wednesday.
The letter titled ‘Notice of a Three-Day Warning Strike and a Call for Immediate Withdrawal of Retirement Letters of Untenured Doctors on GL 17’ and signed by MDCAN FCTA chair Emmanuel Musa and secretary general Uko Ekaette.
The letter made available Tuesday night, said the decision was reached at an emergency congress meeting.
“This decision was arrived at after failure of efforts of amicable resolution following engagement with the office of FCTA establishment and the permanent secretary prior to the release of the retirement letter.
“Permit us sir to request for your prompt intervention in the misinterpretation and misapplication of circular on revised Public Services Rules (PSR) (2021 Section: 020909), policy tenure),” the MDCAN letter explained.
It added, “It is directly applicable only to tenured office holders to unjustifiably retire our members who hold untenured position of medical consultants on GL17. Contrary to the circular emanating from the office of the Head of Service on the same matter, the circular Ref no: FCTA/HRM/S141145/vol 1 of Aug. 9, 2023 endorsed by the permanent secretary, FCTA has attempted to include medical consultants on GL17 to tenured positions.
“We would like to state categorically herein that medical consultant position on GL 17 has never been regarded as a tenured position. In support of this, there was a precedence of an exception of Medical Consultants in clinical service.”
The doctors explained that the FCTA was the only administration that misinterpreted, misapplied and implemented the circular in Nigeria.
“Hope you are not being sabotaged Sir and assuredly if this is allowed to sail the entire health care system will collapse. We hereby call for an immediate withdrawal of the compulsory retirement letters served our members who have not attained their retirement by year of service or age,” the letter pointed out. “We look forward to your immediate and urgent intervention to resolve this burning issue.”
A memo was sent from the office of the head of civil service of the federation on July 27 ministries, departments and agencies to ensure compliance with the newly revised rules.
The civil service head, Folashade Yemi-Esan, had in the memo to all permanent secretaries, accountant-general of the federation, auditor-general of the federation and heads of extra-ministerial departments, ordered strict compliance with the newly revised Public Service Rules, 2021.
Part of the rules requires that directors in the civil service, who have spent eight years, should proceed on immediate retirement.
“Following the approval of the revised Public Service Rules by the Federal Executive Council on September 27, 2021, and its subsequent unveiling at the public service lecture during the commemoration of the 2023 Civil Service Week, the PSR has become operational with effect from July 27, 2023,” the memo stated. “You are, therefore, to ensure full compliance with all provisions of the Public Service Rules, 2021. Please, ensure strict compliance with the contents of this circular.”