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Health minister to meet striking workers Aug. 26

Abuja – The Federal Ministry of Health is to meet with striking health workers on Aug. 26 for dialogue to end the ongoing strike, the Minister, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, has said.

The workers embarked on a nationwide strike on Thursday  to press for the implementation of an agreement reached with the government.

Chukwu said on Thursday at a news conference on Thursday in Abuja that series of informal meetings had been held between the union, Minister of Labour and Productivity and other relevant personnel.

He said the ministry was ready to “meet with the workers on Monday but waiting was for them (Joint Health Sector Unions) to accept the date.

“A meetingwas also scheduled for yesterday (Wednesday). Although the union’s president was present but it could not form a quorum because some members left, so we only had an informal talk.

“Report reaching us indicates that the strike is at various levels but in some institution nobody is on strike, while in others health workers, except pharmacists and doctors, are on strike.

“We are compiling full report to know the hospitals on strike.

“The main four issues at stake that we could not  quite agree on are skipping of promotion, the national health bill, appointment of consultants, and allowances,’’ he said.

Chukwu said since those issues could not be resolved through dialogue or negotiation they were referred to the National Industrial Court according to the rules governing labour.

“The matter is before the court, any matter before the court means we should not take any further action

until it dispenses with it,’’ he said.

He, however, said government was desirous of ensuring lasting harmony in the sector. (NAN)


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