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FG meets JOHESU today to avert more strikes in health sector

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In a bid to prevent more workers in the health sector from embarking on strikes, the Federal Government, will today, meet with the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Health Care Professionals in Abuja.

Spokesperson for the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Charles Akpan, who disclosed this yesterday in Abuja, explained that the meeting will begin from 2:00 p.m. at the minister’s conference room, federal secretariat in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

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Minister of Labour and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngige, his Health counterpart, Dr. Osagie Ehanire, are leading the negotiations.

JOHESU has given the Federal Government a 15-day ultimatum to implement the terms of agreement it had with the unions or face a massive industrial action.

This came after the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and its affiliates issued a 21-day deadline to the government to address the lingering dispute between it and the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), else its members would withdraw their services.

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JOHESU’s letter of intention to proceed on strike was handed down to Ngige, at the weekend, wherein the health sector unions expressed their displeasure over the non-implementation of the Consolidated Health Salary Structure, as was done with the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure since 2014, in addition to the demand for payment of all withheld April and May 2018 salaries of its members and withheld salaries in Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Jos University Teaching Hospital and Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH).

The unions also urged the government to review the alleged defective implementation of COVID-19 special inducement and hazard allowance, implementation of National Industrial Court of Nigeria alternative dispute resolution consent judgment and other rulings, as well as an increase in the retirement age from 60 to 65 years for health workers and 70 years for consultant health professionals.

They also frowned on the static hazard allowance, urging conditions of payment that guarantee fairness and justice, besides payment of complete 30 per cent consolidated basic shift duty allowance to nurses/midwives and others in addition to the settlement of teaching allowance to members on CONHESS 7 and 8, nurses, midwives and proper placement of nurse graduates and interns.

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