The Federal Government and the striking Joint Health Sector Union will reconvene today (Thursday) in a bid to find a resolution to the ongoing indefinite strike.
The National Vice-chairman of JOHESU, Dr Obinna Ogbonna, disclosed this in an exclusive interview with The PUNCH.JO
The unions had met with the government last Thursday, but the meeting ended in a deadlock.
Members of the union embarked on an indefinite strike last Thursday to press home their demands.
The health workers are demanding the immediate approval and implementation of the Technical Committee report on Consolidated Health Salary Structure Adjustment by the Federal Government; the immediate payment of the omission and shortfall in the COVID-19 hazard/inducement allowances of affected health workers in federal health institutions; the recognition of support health workers in hospital facilities in the payment of the new hazard allowance; and the payment and inculcation of peculiar allowances to health workers under the aegis of JOHESU/AHPA.
The other demands are the immediate and unconditional implementation of the pharmacist consultant cadre, the unconditional payment of all withheld salaries of Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Jos University Teaching Hospital, and the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, and the April and May 2018 salaries of members at Federal Medical Centre, Azare; and the speedy implementation of the increase in the retirement age from 60 to 65 years and 70 years for consultants in the health professions.
Speaking with our correspondent, Dr. Ogbonna said, “We will be meeting with the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment today (Thursday) by 12 pm. The permanent secretary of the ministry will take charge because that is the hierarchy of power when the minister is not available.
“All our executive members will be there at the meeting and the Federal Ministry of Health will be there so that we will present the matter. The Ministry of Labour is acting as the conciliator.”
JOHESU is the umbrella body of health workers’ unions and associations, including the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, the Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals, the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, the Senior Staff Association of Universities Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions, and the Assembly of Healthcare Professionals.
The PUNCH reports that the nationwide strike embarked on by the health workers has disrupted hospital services across Federal Government hospitals in the country.