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Nationwide strike: Health workers ground sector tomorrow

Joint Health Sector Unions,
JOHESU, yesterday, threatened
to embark on a nationwide
strike, following the federal
government’s failure to
implement the agreement
reached with it in September,
2017.
Its National Chairman, Josiah
Biobelemoye, while lamenting
what he described as the
preferential treatment given to
some unions in the health sector
at the expense of others, directed
its members to withdraw their
services from federal medical
facilities nationwide as from
midnight of Tuesday, April 17.
“JOHESU hereby directs
its members in federal health
institutions all over the country
to commence the strike
immediately (midnight of
Tuesday, April 17) unfailingly.
“States and local government
health institutions are by this
placed on red alert and are to
continue intense sensitization
and mobilization of our members
for possible entry into the fray
if government foot drags in
attending to our demands,” he
said.
According to Biobelemoye,
the demands put forward
to government include
the upward adjustment of
CONHESS salary scale, arrears
of skipping of CONHESS 10 and
employment of additional health
professionals, implementation
of court judgments and upward
review of the retirement age from
60 to 65.
He noted that the union
suspended its last nationwide
strike on September 30, 2017
after signing a Memorandum of
Terms of Settlement, MOTS, with
the federal government.
According to him, the MOTS
ought to be implemented within
five weeks after the date of
suspension of the strike.
Expressing displeasure with
the manner that the Federal
Ministry of Health treated their
demands, Biobelemoye said it
took the government 15 days
from September 6 to 21 to adjust
CONMESS for some grades in
the doctors’ cadre whereas theirs
has been ignored despite several
agreements.
He noted that the union had on
February 5 given a fresh 21-day
ultimatum to enable government
meet the agreement reached
which it still reneged on.
“We entered into an agreement
with them on September 30, 2017
and this led to the suspension of
our previous strike.”
Biobelemoye, who described
the union members as peace
lovers, emphasised that the 45
days was given simply because
the union has the interest of the
masses at heart.
“It is disheartening to note
that after six months of the
suspension of our last strike
and still counting, the federal
government has not done
anything tangible over the
pending issues, especially on
the flagship issue of CONHESS
adjustment and payment of
arrears of CONHESS 10.
“JOHESU as a mature and
responsible organisation gave a
21-day notice on February 5 to
enable the federal government
do the needful.
“At the expiration of the notice,
the leadership reconvened to reappraise
the situation on ground
and noted the lackadaisical
attitude of government toward
the implementation of the
Memorandum of Terms of
Settlement signed on September
30.
“On April 5, the minister of
labour and employment invited
the leadership of JOHESU for a
meeting wherein we were told
that our issues are still being
looked into, this shows that
government is taking JOHESU
for a ride,’’ he said.
He also called on well-meaning
Nigerians including traditional
leaders, elder statesmen,
opinion leaders and the general
public to prevail on government
to implement MOTS entered
into with JOHESU on September
30.
Biobelemoye explained that
JOHESU members are not
clamouring for equality with
doctors, but equity and justice,
advising doctors and the Federal
Ministry of Health to change
their perception of the demands.

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This post was syndicated from Nigerian Pilot News. Click here to read the full text on the original website.

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