Health workers in the country under the auspices of Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) would begin an indefinite strike tomorrow as a result of non-implementation of agreement reached with the Federal Government.
The unions involved include the 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 (SSAUTHRIAM), Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP) and Non Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutes (NASU).
Chairman of JOHESU, Biobelemoye Josiah said the issues in dispute are: upward adjustment of CONHESS salary scale, arrears of skipping CONHESS 10, employment of additional health professionals, implementation of court judgement and upward review of retirement age from 60 to 65 years. The protesting unions said their member would withdraw their services from 12 midnight today until the Federal Government implement the agreement reached with them.
The unions said all the state and local government health institutions have been placed on high alert to intensify the sensitisation and mobilisation of their members towards the successful prosecution of the industrial action.
JOHESU had on September 30, 2017 suspended a nationwide strike after signing a memorandum of terms of settlement, which was to be implemented within five weeks, was reached with Federal Government.
Biobelemoye lamented that it is disheartening and embarrassing that six months after suspending the action, Federal Government has not done anything tangible over the pending issues.
Josiah further appealed to well meaning Nigerians to prevail on government to meet the demand of the unions and not wait until the situation degenerates. Meanwhile, the chairman, management board of Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), Bart Nwibe has urged JOHESU to put on hold its nationwide strike and sheathe its sword as the Federal government is looking into its demands with a view to addressing them.
According to Nwibe, the board had met with the executive of JOHESU and all the staff , adding that they were aware of their threat and had also heard their complaints saying that they were talking as they pleaded with them to give them chance in order to understand the problems so that they would do all that was necessary to create an enabling environment for better management/union industrial harmony.