HEALTH workers, under the aegis of Joint Health Sector Unions and Assembly of Health Care Professionals, JOHESU, have withdrawn their services due to Federal Government’s inability to meet their demands.
The strike followed the expiration of the 15-day ultimatum by JOHESU to the Federal Government to meet its demands or it would down tools.
The demands of the aggrieved workers include review of the defective implementation of COVID-19 special inducement and hazard allowance; payment of all withheld salaries of JOHESU members, including April and May 2018 salaries; and the adjustment of Consolidated Health Salary Structure, CONHESS, as was done with Consolidated Medical Salary Structure, CONMESS, since 2014.
Others listed in the letter to the Federal Ministry of Health, with the reference number HQ/JOHESU/ADM/FMoH/VOL.II/55, are the implementation of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, ADR, Consent judgment and other court judgments as well as the call to address the structural and infrastructural decay in the health sector.
Already, the union has written the Federal Government, through the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, in fulfillment of Trade Dispute Act.
Recall that the leadership of JOHESU had met with Ngige, who is the Conciliator-General for the country on Thursday, September 10, over the threat to embark on strike, if government failed to address their grievances.
But after its expanded National Executive Council, NEC, meeting on Saturday, September 12, the union said the meeting with government did not address their demands.
The letter to the minister read: “You would recall that at the end of the meeting held in your office on Thursday, September 10, 2020, JOHESU demanded that the outcome of the meeting between JOHESU and the Federal Government be reported back to our expanded NEC meeting and give a feed back to the Federal Government within 48 hours.
“In the light of the above, the meeting of our expanded NEC was held today, Saturday, September 12, 2020. And at the end of the meeting, which was held both physically and virtually, it was unanimously agreed that since nothing concrete was achieved at the said meeting with the Federal Government, that the strike notice is still germane and alive.
“Therefore, the 15-day ultimatum still subsists and with effect from midnight of Sunday, September 13, 2020, our members shall withdraw their services due to Federal Government inability to meet their demands.”
The letter was signed by the President of Medical & Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria, MHWUN, Biobelemoye Joy Josiah; the union’s Secretary General, Dr. Silas Adamu; A. A. Adenij, President, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, NANNM, and the General Secretary, A.A. Shettima.
Others include Dr. A. B. Akintola, President, Senior Staff Association of Universities Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions, SSAUTHRIAI and Dr.Ezekiel Popoola, General Secretary; Dr. O. Ogbonna, President, Nigerian Union of Alied, Health Professionals, NUAHP; the General Secretary, Martin Egbanubi; Hassan Makolo, National President, Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational & Associated Institutions, NASU, and Comrade Peters Adeyemi, General Secretary, NASU.