National & Local News Today - Latest News in Nigeria Today
Health workers, FG meeting ends in deadlock, next date yet to be decided
The federal government and the Joint Health Workers Union’s meeting came to a stalemate.
Dr. Osagie Ehanire, the minister of health, presided over the negotiation session at the Federal Ministry of Health.
Dr. Obinna Ogbonna, the national vice chairman of JOHESU, stated on Thursday that members of the union went on an indefinite strike to make their demands clear.
Also Read: Supreme Court dismisses PDP suit seeking disqualification of Tinubu, Shettima
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 all fall under the umbrella organisation known as JOHESU.
The health workers are demanding the immediate approval and implementation of the Technical Committee report on Consolidated Health Salary Structure adjustment by FG; immediate payment of the omission and shortfall in the COVID-19 hazard/inducement allowances of affected health workers in the federal health institutions and recognition of support health workers in hospital facilities in the payment of new hazard allowance; payment and inculcation of peculiar allowances to health workers under the aegis of JOHESU/AHPA.
Speaking with the press on Friday, Dr Ogbonna said the FMoH called for the reconciliation meeting on Thursday after the union declared its strike.
“Yesterday (Thursday), when the declaration of the strike was pronounced, we had an urgent meeting with the FMoH at about 1pm, we honoured the invitation but when we got to the meeting, we discovered that all of the people, except those from the National Salaries Incomes And Wages Commission, were all from the FMoH and the Minister who had already taken a position over the matter that it is impossible to be given the adjusted CONHESS was the one who presided over the meeting.
“We had to tell him that he is an interested party in this matter and for the ministry to have allowed us to declare a strike and according to the labour law, there is a trade dispute already and if a trade dispute is declared, the interested party should not be the one to preside over the matter anymore because you cannot be a judge in your own matter.
“He (the Minister) agreed with us and said the matter will be taken over by the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, who will be the conciliator between us and the FMoH so that the matter will go unfiltered and dispassionately.”
Ogbonna said the meeting was adjourned till next week, “but no date has been fixed yet due to the mood of the nation and the ongoing inaugural process.”