Friday, 13 March 2020

PROPER PLACEMENT: UGONSA ENGAGES THE HCSF SEVEN-MEMBER COMMITTEE



To make sure that Proper Placement for graduate nurses is approved at the next National Council on Establishment (NCE) meeting, the University Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA) has reached out to and engaged the seven-member committee inaugurated recently by the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF) to look into key establishment issues for consideration at the next NCE meeting. Vide a letter Ref No: UG/NAT/20/HCSF/NCE/CO/01 dated 10th March, 2020, UGONSA wrote the chairman of the committee (the Head of Service of Niger State), attentioned the secretary of the committee (The Director, Organisation Design and Development (ODD) office of the HCSF) and copied other members of the committee (Heads of Service: Anambra, Delta, Ondo, Kaduna and Adamawa) and made a strong case for the committee to prioritize the approval of the Proper Placement at the next NCE meeting. Below is the full script of the letter:


Mrs. Salamatu Abubakar,
The Head of Service (HOS),
Niger State Civil Service &
The Chairman, HCSF Committee on NCE issues.
Office of the Head of Service,
Niger State Secretariat, Minna

Attention
Mr. Benjamin Omogo,
The Director, Organisation Design and Development (ODD) &
The Secretary, HCSF Committee on NCE issues.
Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation,
Federal Secretariat Complex,
Phase II, Shehu Shagari Way,
Three Arms Zone, Abuja

Madam,
SEVEN-MEMBER COMMITTEE OF THE HCSF: PLEASE KINDLY SEE THAT THE PERENNIAL INJUSTICE OF UNDERPLACEMENT OF GRADUATE NURSES ARE ADDRESSED

The University Graduates of Nursing Science Association (UGONSA) and nurses under its commune heartily bring you their nightingales’ greeting. We salute your hardworking, sincerity and sense of purpose that earned you the first female HOS of Niger State and now the trust of our esteemed Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF) to lead the high powered seven-member committee she inaugurated to address some knotty issues before the National Council on Establishment (NCE) for consideration at the next NCE meeting. We pray God to grant you and your team the abundant grace and wisdom to make out the best for the country from this all important assignment and committee whose headship has been entrusted to you.
     
       2. We deem it appropriate to intimate you and your committee members, at this auspicious moment, on the perennial injustice of underplacement of graduate nurses, which the National Council on Establishment (NCE) is yet to rectify, to enable you form a robust framework for righting the wrongs of yesterday at the committee level to enthrone a repositioned service in our health system that is equitable and fair to all the healthcare team members, especially the nurses that have so long been marginalized and deeply traumatized.

3    3. As at date, nurse interns are the only interns in our health sector that are underplaced on Grade Level 08 (.i.e. CONHESS 07) whereas their counterparts from other core healthcare disciplines such as Pharmacy, Medical Laboratory Science, Physiotherapy, and so on, are placed on Grade Level 09 (.i.e. CONHESS 08). Post-NYSC (National Youth Service Corps), the graduate nurses are aberrantly employed into the Civil Service on Grade Level 09 (CONHESS 08) whereas their counterparts in other core healthcare disciplines are employed in the same health system on Grade Level 10 (CONHESS 09).  

4     4. What is more? This injustice of underplacement of graduate nurses and nurse interns to the tune of one grade level below par occurs despite that nursing and the aforementioned core healthcare disciplines have similar entry requirement and course duration for the first degree in the university.
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   5. Moreso, the wrongful underplacement is at variance with the gazetted verdict of the Industrial Arbitration Panel (IAP) award of the year 1981, which granted that in the healthcare delivery service of Nigeria the profession of Nursing is on parity with that of Pharmacy as is the case in Great Britain (Please refer Annexure A for the IAP award document).  By the unambiguous provision of the IAP award, the basis for appointment of graduates of Bachelor of Pharmacy (B.Pharm) degree as well as the university graduates of the other aforementioned core healthcare disciples unto Grade Level 10 (CONHESS 09) post-NYSC also justifies why the graduates of the Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.N.Sc) degree, who are on parity with them, should be appointed on the same grade level, especially as both professions of nursing and pharmacy and the other healthcare disciplines aforementioned have similar entry requirement and course duration for the first degree in the university plus a one-year internship training pre-NYSC.

6    6. When we registered our displeasure over this wrongful shortchange of nurses to the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) and demanded for an upgrade of the salary grade level (GL) of the graduate nurses, in the spirit and letter of the IAP award, to be at par with what is obtainable with their counterparts in other core healthcare disciplines, whose entry points in the civil service are Grade Level 09 (CONHESS 08) for interns and Grade Level 10 (CONHESS 09) post-NYSC, the ministry in her reply, vide a circular Ref No. C.6093/T/13 dated 19th June 2017, averred that issues on proper placements or adjustments on cadre/rank/post/GL fall within the purview of the office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (HCSF)/National Council on Establishment (NCE) and not the Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH).

7     7. Consequently, the ministry advised that if our association (.i.e. UGONSA) wanted a review and upgrade of the current entry point for the graduate nurses, it should send a memorandum to the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN) on a new proposed entry point of Grade Level 10 (CONHESS 09) post-NYSC against the Grade Level 09 (CONHESS 08) that is currently in place. The ministry added that the NMCN, after deliberation on the new memorandum, can forward same to the FMOH for onward transmission and submission to the HCSF for presentation at next NCE meeting for consideration (kindly refer Annexure B for the FMOH response).

8     8. Based on the advice of the FMOH, we forwarded a memorandum to the NMCN proposing Grade Level 10 (CONHESS 09) as the entry point of the graduate nurses and as well recognizing higher degrees in nursing such as MSc and PhD in the nurses’ schemes of service. Having reliably gathered that the memo has been transmitted from the NMCN to the FMOH and that the FMOH has transmitted it to the office of the HCSF for consideration at the next NCE meeting, it portends that the issues of righting this unjustifiable wrong now lies on you and your team members whom the HCSF appointed as a committee to look at the major issues for consideration at the next NCE meeting such as this issue concerning the enhanced entry point and proper placement of the graduate nurses to be at par with their counterparts in other core healthcare disciplines.
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      9. We feel dejected whenever we juxtapose the workload and contributions of nurses to patients’ care in our hospitals with this unwarranted ill-treatment of wrongful and inexplicable underplacement below par. 

      10. In terms of workload, nurses are the frontline caregivers with the highest bedside visibility, who stay with patients round-the-clock from birth till death serving as a tapestry of care similar to the roles played by mothers in families; a tapestry woven through nurses' daily contact with patients, through attending to patients' physical, psychological, emotional or otherwise holistic needs, administering treatments and medications, monitoring patients' responses to those treatments and medications, helping patients to prevent illnesses or to live with their illnesses or helping educate them about how to live with their illnesses, dealing with patients’ family members, and  helping patients die with some measure of comfort and dignity when recovery is paled and death is inevitable.
      
     11. It therefore defies logic, common sense and rationality that nurses who play to our healthcare delivery system similar roles as what mothers play in our homes are the ones singled out for this unwarranted marginalization in entry point placement, for no tenable reason, in the same health system where they play central coordinating role.
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       12. Our unwavering hope now lies in the ability of you and your team members in the committee to rise above whatever sentiment that might have informed this inexplicable and unjustifiable perennial ill-treatment of wrongful underplacement meted out to nurses by putting on a patriotic garb of equity, justice and fairness and see that the university graduates of nursing science get similar enhanced entry placement as their counterparts in the other core healthcare disciplines by making far-reaching favourable recommendations in your committee’s report to pave way for righting this wrong at the next NCE meeting.

PRAYER
We passionately appeal and demand that your committee kindly:

  1. prioritize for passage and approval at the next National Council on Establishment (NCE) meeting the memorandum on enhanced entry point and proper placement of graduates of Bachelor of Nursing Science (B.N.Sc) degree seeking to make Grade Level 09 (.i.e. CONHESS 08) the entry point for the nurse interns and Grade Level 10 (i.e. CONHESS 09) the entry point for the graduate nurses post-NYSC and to recognize MSc and PhD in nursing in the nurses’ schemes of service.
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    2. classify the lingering issue of wrongful underplacement of graduate nurses among the topmost priority service problems to be rectified by the NCE at its next meeting.
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    3. see that this all-important issue of enhanced entry point and proper placement of the university graduates of nursing science at par with their counterparts in other healthcare disciplines which borders on equity, fairness, justice and inclusiveness in our health system is given a favourable leaning for express passage and approval at the next National Council on Establishment (NCE) meeting.

Kindly accept the assurances of our highest regards!

                                                                     Signed:


CHIEF (HON.) S.E.O. EGWUENU                                    NURSE P.O. ETENG
          National President                                                           Ag.National Secretary

CC:  Heads of Service: Anambra, Delta, Ondo, Kaduna and Adamawa

2 comments:

  1. Highly commendable move and action by the UGONSA executives and pray for the good outcome from the NCE meeting coming upnsoon

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is long overdue request and hope that the NCE will look into these issues and solve them once and for all.

    ReplyDelete