By Marie-Therese Nanlong
Jos – The Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU has intimated of the looming strike in the Health sector from the 17th of next month if the federal government fails to honour the terms of agreements with the Union at different fora since 2009 especially the agreement reached on the 30th of September, 2017 which had a time frame of five weeks.
The Union at a sensitization and mobilization meeting held with its members nationwide at the premises of the Jos University Teaching Hospital, JUTH urged members to brace up for the tough
time ahead stressing that even if government adopt the no work, no pay policy, the strike will be total until all demands are met.
Addressing the members shortly after paying a visit to the Chief Medical Director, CMD of JUTH, Professor Edmund Banwat, the National Vice-Chairman of JOHESU, Dr. Ogbonna Obinna reminded them that no one forced the federal government to enter into the agreements with the Union, hence if the Union kept their parts by calling off earlier strike actions, the government should keep theirs by meeting the demands.
He said, “The essence of this mobilization and sensitization is to call the attention of the government to our lingering issues on their table, in 2009, there was a collective bargaining agreement with government but issues raised are not seriously addressed, in 2012, the federal government gave full assurance our issues would be attended to, the story did not changed in 2014 and in 2017.
“The issues we raised were supposed to be addressed within five weeks but till now, nothing has been done. We had earlier issued a 30 working days ultimatum from March 5, 2018 and it will expire on the 17thof April, 2018. If by that date nothing concrete is done, we shall embark on total strike from the federal to the local
“The issue of no work, no pay will not work; we are sensitizing citizens to understand with us as we will be withdrawing our services if the federal government fails to meet our demands which include: Upward adjustment of CONHESS scale, skipping of CONHESS 10, specialist allowance, same scale promotion, internship, employment of additional health professionals, implementation of court judgments, enhanced entry point, upward review of retirement age from 60 to 65years.
“The highlight of the issues is that of the adjusted CONHESS; it has been done for the medical practitioners, they adjusted theirs on the 3rd January, 2014, and immediately two months arrears was proposed and paid to them to pacify them, the remaining ten months was paid in 2015; they are done with theirs, but ours is still lingering.”
However, the CMD of JUTH, Professor Edmund Banwat who received the leadership of the Union appealed to them to exercise patience saying, “Unionism in the health sector should not be equated with that of other sectors because lives are involved” and urged them to imbibe “continuous engagement and make confrontation the last option.” End.