A fresh crisis is brewing in the nation’s health sector as workers under the aegis of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations have issued a 15-day strike notice to the Federal Government in agitation for their demands.
In a letter addressed to the Minister of Health, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, the unions demanded a review of the COVID-19 special inducement and hazard allowance as well as the payment of all withheld salaries of their members, including the withheld April and May 2018 salaries.
The letter, dated August 26, 2020, was jointly signed by the President and Secretary of Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria, Biobelemoye Josiah and Matthew Ajurotu respectively, the President and Secretary of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses And Midwives, Rauf Adeniji and A.A Shettima as well as the leadership of three other health unions.
The unions also demanded the adjustment of Consolidated Health Salary Structure, implementation of National Industrial Court of Nigeria consent judgment and other court judgments and an improvement in the structural and infrastructural decay in the health sector.
The statement reads in part: “Up till the time of writing this letter, the Federal Government has not deemed it fit to honour the terms of settlement entered into with JOHESU on 30th September, 2017, especially the upward review of CONHESS Salary Structure as agreed, to be completed within five weeks from the date of agreement amongst other requests.
“Consequently, JOHESU is constrained to give the Federal Government 15 days ultimatum with effect from midnight Sunday, 30th August, 2020 and to inform you that with effect from midnight of Sunday, 13th September, 2020, all our members in the Federal tertiary health institutions shall embark on a strike action, while state and local government health institutions are placed on red alert for possible entry into the fray if the Federal Government foot-drags in attending to our demands,” the letter reads in part.