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Finally, Lagos Doctors Suspend Seven-Week Industrial Action

Nearly a week after the Lagos State government recalled the 788 doctors dismissed for allegedly embarking on an illegal industrial action, the Medical Guild has suspended its boycott of work and has directed all its members to resume duties today.
It would be recalled that governor of the state, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) had recalled the doctors last Thursday following the intervention of political, religious and civil-society bodies led by former governor, Asiwaju bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The Guild, the umbrella body of all medical personnel in the public service of the state, took the decision on Tuesday at a congress held at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH). It resolved to suspend the seven-week strike after the Lagos State Health Service Commission (HSC) and LASUTH formally issued letters of recall to the affected medical personnel on Monday and Tuesday.
Speaking at a news conference after the congress suspended the strike, chairman of the Guild, Dr. Olumuyiwa Odusote, accompanied by the secretary, Dr. Oloyede Durojaiye, confirmed that all the doctors had been recalled unconditionally.
He revealed the resolution of the Congress to pursue the implementation of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) at the National Industrial Court (NIC).
“The Guild and all its members have agreed to engage the service of a reputable tax consultant to pursue the case of high taxes, with which the state government levies the medical doctors,” Odusote said. “We will pursue using the new Personal Income Tax Amendment Act.”
He said the congress rejected the state pay policy, which the state government claimed to have reached with the Guild shortly before the 2011 general elections, emphasising that the Guild was not party to the said agreement.
The chairman ruled out the possibility of an out-of-court settlement, explaining that the Guild had agreed to modify the second and third prayers before the industrial court so that it could pursue CONMESS within the context of law.
“The prayers were initially meant to prevent the state government from taking any punitive measures against any members of the Guild and forestall any decision that could negatively affect doctors,” he added.
But he assured that all doctors would be at their duty post by Wednesday, saying “The doctors have been recalled unconditionally and the last doctors will collect their letters by 4.00 pm today. We would have resumed today but we had since resolved that no doctor would resume until the last doctor collects his or her recall letter.”

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