Our patience is overstretched – JOHESU

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…3-day warning strike starts tomorrow

BY VICTORIA OJEME

The Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU, in league with the Assembly of Healthcare Professionals has vowed to paralyse activities in the health sector as it commences a three-day warning strike tomorrow, January 22, to be followed by an indefinite strike.

Giving the threat in a press conference in Abuja, yesterday, President, Association of Medical Laboratory Sciences of Nigeria, Godswill Okara, who represented Chairman, JOHESU, Mr. Waba Ayuba, said the Federal Government was taking the union’s patience for granted.

“Our patience has been overstretched. Our display of good faith, patience, restraint and maturity on the  issues and other perennial cases of injustices has been taken for weakness by the health ministry. and we are determined to ensure that our demands are met,” Ayuba stated.

According to him: “Agonisingly, at the meeting of January 16, 2014, to re-appraise the outcome of the health Ministry’s implementation of the agreed issues, we found out that the Ministry has virtually not implemented any of the issues in contention. This is despite the fact that local branches of our unions had already commenced strike action to protest the non-skipping of CONHESS 10 which the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, NICN, had upheld in her judgement.

“In the light of these outlined acts of industrial violations, injustice and deprivations, our members across the length and breadth of the country have no other choice than to embark on a three-day warning strike with effect from Wednesday,  January 22, 2014.”

On alleged selective increase of wages for doctors, Waba said: “In a bid to placate doctors from going on strike, Government after a meeting with Nigerian Medical Association, NMA, officials on January 2, 2014 approved increase in wages and  emoluments of doctors ranging from 20 per cent to 50 per cent of CONMESS which were circularised in less than 10 days after going through a process.

“It is almost unimaginable that anything could run so perfectly well in a country known for unending bureaucratic lapses. For the records, this tragically remains one of the few times Government in its wisdom has attempted to secretly and selectively approve wage increase for a cadre of workers in a multi-disciplinary sector.”

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