Nigeria Moves to Avert Crisis in Health Sector, Meets Workers over Planned Strike

The Nigerian Government will hold a meeting with the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Association (AHPA) on September 7, to avert the unions’ plan to embark on an indefinite nationwide strike.

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

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

JOHESU had on Sept. 3, issued the Federal Government a 15-day ultimatum, stating they would launch an indefinite strike at the end of the ultimatum over welfare allowances owed to its members.

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The ultimatum was deemed necessary by the group due to the government’s nonchalant treatment of its members.

The demand of the aggrieved members of the union includes 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; review of the defective implementation of COVID-19 Special Inducement and Hazard Allowance; and implementation of National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR).

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

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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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