COLLECTIVE BARGAINING AS A TOOL FOR HIGHER PRODUCTIVITY (A CASE STUDY OF FEDERAL MEDICAL CENTRE MAKURDI)
1.1. BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
The public health sector is charged with responsibility of ensuring that Nigeria and citizenry do have access to the western medical facilities. As it is public sector as the name implies provides health care delivery at all levels, primary, secondary and tertiary levels of the society.
This sector like any other sector is carved out of paid employees who are employed within the health organization. This is where the existence of association or unions whose officials stand in for employees or represent them on a round table with their employers to negotiate and bargain their conditions of service which could be called collective bargaining.
The purpose for such negotiation between employers and unions is to encourage higher productivity especially from her employees, as a result of strong veritable union such as the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), also the medical and Dental Practioners, the medical and Health workers union – (MHWU) to motivate for the betterment of service. Like any other organization in the public sector, the Federal medical centre Makurdi equally has such unions that is charged with the responsibilities of making sure that workers or employee’s rights are not denied them also protect them and recognized in the discharge of their various duties in their place of work. Besides, the modern day work has come to be accepted as the most essential factor or resource in the organization. It is not a simple tool, but most complex personality, interacting in a group situation.
Personnel are the most valued or priced factor, which in turn aimed achieving greater productivity knowledge, based ability to reason or think independently and make strong and intelligent judgment and contributions for the smooth flow of operations and expansion of the establishment. The traditional view of unions is that management enjoys in bargaining or negotiating wages and working conditions. A single firm has many workers.
If each employee must take a separate negotiation or deal with firms, the firm can make a take it or leave or offer which will be useless, in any other firm, many face a large drop in productivity and wages is rejects the firm’s offer. The firm is in a strong bargaining position, if it can make separate agreements with each of its employees, in contract, by presenting a united front, the employers may be able to impose large cost on the firm if they all quit. The firm can replace on worker but not its whole labour force.
Once a union is established, its aim and objectives are not only to protect its members but to improve their pay and working conditions. To be successful, the union must be able to restrict the public sector’s labour supply. If the sector can live non-union labour, unions will find it hard to maintain the wages above the level at which the firm can live non-union workers.
The employers have a duty to accept the trade union as an invaluable partner in the development of public sector organizations and accord them due recognition in the protection of interests of their members. However, employers of labour nowadays do not feel comfortable with the existence of unions in their organization, as such, they are usually not willing to accept and honour resolutions achieved through collective bargaining. This is responsible for myriad of change confronting the movement of Federal medical centre Makurdi in recent times.
1.2. STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
Collective bargaining as a tool for higher productivity is a dynamic area of study. Dynamic in the sense that it is viable means of promoting and sustaining industrial peace in organizations by bringing the parties together to appreciate the view point of each other.
Against this background therefore, government policies by successive management of the hospital have failed to recognize collective bargaining as important aspect of human relations at work in the organization. The neglect of this very important aspect of workers employers’ relationship to discuss the best and the most acceptable terms of employment in the health sector tend to affect high productivity in the health care delivery system in the society. The refusal by many employers of labour to come on a round table with their employees to negotiate conditions of service have in the past and present affected workers productivity in the health sector. Even when such collective bargaining meetings are held, employers are usually not willing to honour their own side of the agreement, thus affecting negatively workers/employers relationship in the organization.
Since 2001-2006, the problem has since paralyzed the services of Health workers in the Federal medical centre Makurdi, which almost resulted in the total collapse of the place. It is against this background that the researcher intends to investigate collective bargaining as a tool for promoting higher productivity in the Federal medical centre Makurdi.
1.3. RESEARCH QUESTIONS
In order to effectively and efficiently tackle the problem of this study, the following research questions have to be acknowledged.
1. What are the problems associated with the implementation of resolutions arising from collective bargaining by the management?
2. What prospects exist of collective bargaining as a tool for improving workers welfare and productivity in the hospital?
3. Are trade association equipped in the area of collective bargaining?
4. Can collective bargaining enhance productivity of employees in organization such as Federal medical centre Makurdi?
5. Is there any relationship between collective bargaining and productivity in Federal medical centre Makurdi?
1.4. RESEARCH OBJECTIVES
The reason for this research is to investigate the relationship that exist between the management and employees in the Federal medical centre Makurdi from 2001-2006 and its effects on productivity.
Furthermore, it is also to find out the remote and immediate cause of management versus medical association crises in the hospital. Also to find out whether collective bargaining can be employed to cover future problems in the centre, thus increasing productivity of workers in the organization.
1.5. RESEARCH HYPOTHESIS
The following will form the research hypothesis for this study;
HO: collective bargaining does not encourage productivity in Federal medical centre Makurdi
HI: Collective bargaining encourages productivity of employees in Federal medical centre Makurdi.
HO: Collective bargaining is not a tool for improving workers welfare
HI: Collective bargaining is a tool for improving workers welfare.
1.6. SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The significance of this research work lies in the fact that it will avail us the opportunity to know where the problem is or lies so as to device a means of remedy to it.
Secondly, the study will afford us the opportunity to know whether collective bargaining has any direct relationship to productivity of workers in the Federal medical centre Makurdi
Thirdly, the outcome of this research will serve as reference materials for the management and for future research into the field of study.
Finally, it will help the management and the government to formulate better policies and promote such policies to be of importance to trade associations in the hospital to perform their duties more effectively and efficiently
1.7. SCOPE OF THE STUDY
Collective bargaining is extremely large; trade association operates in public and private sectors. Although the how about of it is same, the reason or objectives are equally same. Operations differ from one firm to another firm depending on the activities and structure of such organizations.
Having observed the wide area that is to be covered, the researcher limited himself to the public health sector especially the Federal medical centre Makurdi from the period of six months.
1.8. DEFINITION OF TERMS
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING: It refers to as the negotiations between a trade union and employers on terms of condition of service (Alan Gladstone, 1998:351)
PUBLIC SECTOR: Buskirt et al (1976:521) defined public sector as that aspect of a country’s economy which is controlled by the government. It includes ministries, parastatals, departments and the armed forces.
PRIVATE SECTOR: This is the sector still within the economy that is operated and managed by individuals for profit making strictly, such includes limited liability companies , partnerships etc.
TRADE UNION: This is an organization of paid workers employed for the purpose of improving the salaries and conditions of services and work of the employees.
EMPLOYERS AND WORKERS: these are human resources for labour.
EMPLOYER AND MANAGEMENT: are general terms defending the person who hires labour.
HEALTH ASSOCIATION: they include medical and health workers union (MHWU) National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) and the Medical and Dental Practitioners.
PRODUCTIVITY: This implies employee’s performance, output, per-man, production per utilization of human resources.
FEATHER BEDDING: This is a mild form of extortion where in the union or its members receive payment for work not actually performed, is especially out levied.