Health workers begin nationwide strike Wednesday

THE Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) has directed its members to unfailingly commence an indefinite nationwide strike in all Federal Health Institutions across the country as from midnight on Tuesday.

Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Monday, National Chairman of JOHESU, Comrade Biobelemoye Josiah, said the unions under JOHESU have no choice than to proceed on an indefinite nationwide strike due to the failure of the government to implement and abide by the Memorandum of Terms of Settlement reached on 30th September 2017; when it suspended its last strike.

According to Biobelemoye, the Memorandum of Terms of Settlement was agreed to be implemented within five weeks after the date of suspension of the strike but regretted that six months after, the Federal Government has not done anything tangible over the pending issues.

The issues in contention are the upward adjustment of CONHESS Salary Scale; arrears of Skipping of CONHESS 10; employment of additional health professionals, the implementation of the court judgement and upward review of retirement age from 60 to 65.

The JOHESU is made up of: Medical and Health Workers Unions of Nigeria (MHWUN), National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIA), Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP) and Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutes (NASU).

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Following the failure of the government to address the issues after six months; he explained that JOHESU gave a 21-day notice on 5th of February, 2018, in the first instance, to enable the Federal Government to do the needful.

Besides, Biobelemoye said another 30 working days ultimatum was issued to the Federal Government on 5th March 2018, to alert the government of the impending nationwide strike.

The JOHESU chairman said: “However, on Thursday, 5th April 2018, the Minister of Labour and Employment invited the leadership of JOHESU to a meeting wherein we were told that our issues were still being looked into. The leadership reported same to the NEC of JOHESU which upheld the ultimatum issued since the government seemed to be taking JOHESU for a ride.

“Consequently upon this, therefore’ JOHESU has no other choice than to proceed on an indefinite nationwide strike action as from midnight on Tuesday. 17th April 2018; when the 30-working days is expected to expire.

“Therefore, JOHESU unions hereby direct all her members in Federal Health Institutions all over the country to commence the strike immediately (midnight of Tuesday, 17th April 2018) 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 the government foot drags in attending to our demands.”

JOHESU, therefore, called on all well-meaning Nigerians including traditional rulers, elder statesmen, opinion leaders and the general public to prevail on government to meet their demands by honouring the Memorandum of Terms of Settlement voluntarily entered into by government with JOHESU.


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