Home News Health Workers Strike Kick Off Indefinitely as FG Calls their Bluff

Health Workers Strike Kick Off Indefinitely as FG Calls their Bluff

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Health Workers
Health Workers

By Uche Amunike

Health workers belonging to the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) and the Assembly of Health Care Professional Association have been asked to embark on an indefinite strike action.

Speaking,  during a press conference in Abuja,  Thursday, the National Vice President of JOHESU, Dr Obinna Ogbonna, made this disclosure concerning the health workers strike.

JOHESU, is a comprehensive union that is comprised of unions and associations of health workers. These include the Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals, Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, Assembly of Health Care Professionals, Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria as well as Senior Staff Association of Universities Teaching Hospitals Research Institutes and Associated Institutions.

The health workers have made demands for the immediate approval and implementation of the Technical Committee report on CONHESS adjustment by the Buhari-led government, payment and inculcated of peculiar allowances to health workers under the aegis of JOHESU/AHPA, immediate payment of the omission and shortfall in the COVID-19 hazard/inducement allowances of affected health workers in federal health institutions, as well as the recognition of support health workers in hospital facilities while paying their new hazard allowance.

They also demanded for the unconditional payment of every withheld salary of Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Jos University Teaching Hospital April and May 2018 salaries of NOFIC members at Azare; immediate and unconditional implementation of the pharmacist consultant cadre as well as the increase of retirement age from 60 to 65 years and 70 years for consultants in the health sector.

Recall that in a letter dated May 9, 2023, the JOHESU leadership gave a 15-day ultimatum to the federal government to adjust the Consolidated Health Salary Structure for health workers on their platforms, as there were alleged inconsistencies of the government in the negotiations.

Because the federal government called their bluff regarding their demands, they were left with no choice to consider a health workers strike.

Hear him: ‘Consequent upon the nonchalant, biased and lackadaisical attitude of the Federal Ministry of Health against JOHESU members and the resolution of the expanded National Executive Council meeting of the JOHESU held on Monday, May 8, 2023, our members in the federal health institutions nationwide are hereby directed to withdraw their services indefinitely commencing from 00:00 hour on Thursday, May 25, 2023. It becomes imperative to inform you that since the Federal Government is yet to meet these demands, our members have been directed by the JOHESU National Executive Council to proceed on an indefinite strike action upon expiration of the ultimatum by midnight of May 25, 2023.’

He maintained that, much as the union had no problems whatsoever, showing both the  government and stakeholders commitment and cooperation in their bid to improve and advance the healthcare system, all needed reforms must be in the interest of the public.

As at the time of filing this news report, the response of the Minister of Health, Dr Osage Ehanire was yet to be obtained.

 

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