FG meets with healthcare workers to avert another nationwide strike

JOHESU has issued the Federal Government a 15-day ultimatum

President Muhammadu Buhari (left) with the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige (right) [BBC]

The Federal Government says it will meet with the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Association on September 7 to avert the union's plan to embark on an indefinite nationwide strike.

Mr Charles Akpan, Deputy Director, Press and Public Relations in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, said this in a statement on Monday in Abuja.

According to Akpan, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, will be meeting with leadership of the Joint Health Sector Union on September 7, at the Minister's Conference room at 2 pm.

The News Agency If Nigeria (NAN) reports that JOHESU had on September 3, issued the Federal Government a 15-day ultimatum, saying they will commence an indefinite strike at the end of the ultimatum over outstanding welfare allowances owed to its members.

JOHESU said that the ultimatum was necessitated by the non-challant attitude of government to the plight of its members.

The demand of the aggrieved members of the union include adjustment of Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHES) as was done with Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) since 2014, payment of all withheld April and May 2018 Salaries, withheld salaries of members in Federal Medical Center, Owerri, JUTH and LUTH, the review of the defective implementation of COVID-19 Special Inducement and Hazard Allowance, implementation of National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

The Union is also demanding Consent judgment and other court judgments, increase in retirement age from 60 to 65 years for health workers, and 70 years for Consultant Health Professionals.

Others are payment of reviewed hazard allowance in terms of payment that guarantee fairness and justice to all concerned, payment of actual 30 per cent consolidated basic shift duty allowance to nurses/midwives and others, payment of teaching allowance to members on CONHESS 7 and 8 (nurses, midwives, and others) and proper placement of nurse graduates and interns, payment of outstanding salaries of intern health professionals, and all the tertiary health institutions, among others.

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