By Sola Ogundipe & Chioma Obinna
Indications emerged, weekend, that the Ministry of Health is meeting with the leadership of Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, MHWUN, this morning towards finding quick resolution to the ongoing health workers’ strike.
It was gathered that the meeting, which is expected to be presided over by the Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu, would explore available options for negotiation towards ending the strike that has paralysed activities in all Federal tertiary and specialist hospitals nationwide.
Meanwhile, the five-day old strike called by MHWUN over irreconcilable issues with the ministry, may be extended to primary healthcare centres and state owned-hospitals should government fail to accede to their demands by August 28.
Chairman of LUTH branch of MHWUN, Mr. Kehinde Adegoke said: “There is a meeting in Abuja tomorrow (today) between the Ministry of Health and the Joint Action Committee.
“I understand the Minister wants to negotiate before the ultimatum expired. Even before the expiration, the Minister of Labour tried to mediate, but neither the Health Minister nor his representative showed up.
“Before we went to court last year, the Ministry of Health and our unions signed an agreement that we would abide by the judgment, but now the Minister said he has gone to the Court of Appeal.
“Now the courts are on recess, and may not resume till middle of September.
“We have agreement on five points out of the 10, and it was the minimum that was to be implemented between May 6- 29, 2012. The others not agreed on were referred to the Industrial Court.
“We may be able to reach a compromise within the shortest time if they should implement those areas where we have reached an agreement. Up till now, none has been implemented.”