Thursday, July 29, 2021

JOHESU strike: No end in sight – Vice Chair

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Jaafar Jaafar
Jaafar Jaafar is a graduate of Mass Communication from Bayero University, Kano. He was a reporter at Daily Trust, an assistant editor at Premium Times and now the editor-in-chief of Daily Nigerian.
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The National Vice Chairman of the Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU, Ogbonna Chimela, has said that the strike action embarked upon by the health workers under the association will continue.

Mr Chimela stated this following a Thursday’s meeting with the federal government that ended up deadlocked.

Recall that the union had insisted that there was no going back on its current industrial action until the Federal Government meets its demands.

Biobelemoye Josiah, National Chairman of JOHESU, made this known at a news briefing in Abuja against the backdrop of a circular issued by the Federal Ministry Health on the strike, on Thursday, 26 April.

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Mr Josiah further urged members to remain steady in quest for equity, justice and fairness in the health sector, saying that the strike was imperative to ensure that services are withdrawn until the demands are met.

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“We wish to intimate the general public to the bias, injustice and provocative antics by the Federal Ministry of Health.

“The antics include ensuring attendance register was opened during strike, enforcement of “No Work No Pay; policy and employment of locum staff, respectively.

“We call on our members nationwide to disregard all forms of threat or intimidation from the government and ensure that services are withdrawn until our demands are met.

“We call on government to ensure equity and justice in the health sector instead of putting the health of Nigerians in jeopardy by resolving the issues on the table.

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“Rather than churning out threatening circulars on register, locum and “No Work No Pay’’ that have no universal application, as a diversionary tactics,” he said.

He called on the Federal Government to quicken the process of resolving the industrial issues culminating in the strike to enable Nigerians to access health care in all public health institutions.

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He also advised the government not to engage in activities that would further infuriate health workers and exacerbate an already bad situation.

JOHESU chairman also directed the health workers in the state and local governments to mobilise and join in the strike if the Federal Government fails to call for negotiation after two weeks of the industrial action.

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The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the union’s demands include adjustment of CONES salary as done for CONMESS since 2014, and abolition of scale to scale promotion, payment of outstanding arrears of promotion, skipping and relativity.

Others are autonomy of teaching and specialist hospitals, non execution of court judgments, review of retirement age from 60-65 years as done for teachers in the tertiary education Sector.

NAN recalls that JOHESU had embarked on an indefinite strike on April 17 to press for the implementation of its agreement with the Federal Government.


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