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Health Workers to Embark on Nationwide Strike over Non-implementation of Agreements

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CSBS News Desk

Health workers in the country under the auspices of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA) have said they will embark on another round of strike over government’s inability to implement several agreements it reached with the workers.

This came as the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole, pledged to ensure a strike-free health sector under the current administration.

In a communique issued in Abuja and signed by JOHESU President, Biobelemoye Joshua,  the union said government approach in addressing its demands had not been forthcoming over a period of time.

He said: “Knowing and acknowledging that government is a continuum, and having gone into series of agreements with the government of President Goodluck Jonathan coupled with several court judgments in favour of JOHESU and AHPA which was neither implemented nor honoured, JOHESU is peeved that government should flout court orders and fail to honour collectively bargained agreements willingly entered into.

In making its demands, the union said: “Specific steps must be taken by the Head of Service of the Federation to ensure the expedited issuance of an enabling circular authorising consultancy cadre for health professionals that have adhered to due process, to be vested with consultancy status as a prelude to including this cadre into the schemes of service of these health professionals.

“Payment of arrears of specialist allowances to qualified hospitals based health professionals with effect from January 1, 2010, should be ensured without any delay whatsoever.

Their demands also include “immediate and full payment of arrears of the skipping of CONHESS 10 which remains outstanding since the year 2010.

“Immediate and unconditional release of the circular on adjustment of salary since January 2014 and immediate payment of at least 2 months arrears, while the balance is accommodated with proven evidence in the 2016 budget.”

JOHESU also tasked the government to sponsor “an amendment bill to correct once and for all the litany of contentious provisions in the obnoxious decree 10 of 1985 (CAP U15 463) LFN 2004 which formalizes the marginalisation of all health workers by Doctors in the following areas.”

On the next line of action, they maintained that “in view of the failure of the present federal government to accede to our demands as itemised above, JOHESU and AHPA at their joint meeting, held on January 27, 2016, at the Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria Secretariat, Abuja, resolved to give a 15-day ultimatum beginning from February 3, 2016.

Source : ThisDay

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