The National Industrial Court in Abuja has ordered members of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) to suspend their nationwide strike action and resume work within 24 hours.
Justice Babatunde Adejumo yesterday ordered the union to immediately return to the negotiation table with the Federal Government taking into cognizance the National Salaries, Income and Wages Act and other enabling laws.
The judge ordered the ministers of Health, Labour and Employment, to immediately set up a committee to address issues raised by the parties.
The order followed an ex parte application by an NGO, Incorporated Trustees of Kingdom Human Rights Foundation International challenging the on-going industrial action, which has crippled the health sector.
The union on April 17, embarked on strike to demand for upward adjustment of CONHESS salary scale, and employment of additional health professionals following similar demands by medical doctors.
The Executive Director of the NGO, Kingdom Okere had sought an interim injunction compelling JOHESU to immediately resume duties at the various health institutions across the country.
Meanwhile, JOHESU and Assembly of Healthcare Professionals have urged their members in Lagos, Yobe and Kano to relax the ongoing industrial action following efforts made by the state governments in meeting their various clamours and terms of settlement.
"We urge our members in Lagos, Yobe and Kano to relax the strike to accommodate emergency services in those states as a measure of goodwill," the unions said.
National Chairman, JOHESU, Comrade Biobelemoye Joy Josiah and National Secretary, Comrade Ekpebor Florence made the call yesterday evening, while briefing newsmen in Abuja.
The unions have also called on President Muhammadu Buhari to immediately sack health minister Professor Isaac Adewole.
They said Adewole's continued stay as minister remained a major barrier to the resolution of the on-going nationwide strike by health workers.
"This is a major threat to public health especially at a time that the dreaded Ebola disease is currently rampaging in some African Countries," they said.
JOHESU also commended the Lagos State government for approving the consultancy cadre for pharmacists in its employment just like the Niger State government did with pharmacists since 2012.
While expressing gratitude to the Kano State government for ensuring good welfare package for its healthcare work force, they thanked Governor Ganduje for his intervention in ameliorating the on-going strike action.
The unions called for immediate implementation of the terms of settlement of the September 30, 2017 agreement saying that the crux of its clamour has always been restoration of the relativity in the CONHESS and CONMESS scale, which was deliberately distorted with active government collaboration in 2014.