OAUTHC health workers down tool as JOHESU declare nationwide strike

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A two-day-old baby with spinal cord problem was on Wednesday denied treatment following an indefinite strike embarked by the Health workers under the aegis of Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) to force the Federal Government meet their 24-point demands.

"If this group of health workers persist on continuing this strike, government will be forced to invoke the provisions of the relevant labour laws, especially Section 43 of the Trade Dispute Act, Cap.T8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN) 2004 as well as the International Labour Organisation (ILO) principles concerning employers rights over strikes in essential services sector", the statement concluded.

"Consequent upon this, therefore, JOHESU has no other choice than to proceed on an indefinite nationwide strike as from the midnight of Tuesday 17th April, 2018, which is the spiraling of the notice of strike".

Biobelemoye listed their demands to include upward adjustment of CONHESS Salary Scale, arrears of skipping of CONHESS 10 and employment of additional health professionals.

Biobelemoye recalled that the union suspended its last nationwide strike on September 30, last year, after signing a Memorandum of Terms of Settlement with the federal government.

Chimela said: "Before now we gave the government 21 working days as an ultimatum".

He, however, noted that six months after the suspension of the nationwide strike, government was yet to do anything tangible over the pending issues.

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According to Biobelemoye, the agreed terms were meant to be implemented within five weeks but he alleged that nothing has been done till date.

JOHESU President said the union members as peace lovers pointed out that the union had earlier given the Federal government a 21 days ultimatum from February 5 for the fulfillment of the terms of the agreement and an additional 30 working days after the expiration of the ultimatum issued on Feb 5.

"At the expiration of the 21 days' notice, the leadership of JOHESU reconvened to re-appraise the situation on the ground and noted the lackadaisical attitude of the government toward the implementation of the Memorandum of Terms of Settlement signed on September 30".

He explained that on Thursday, April 5, 2018, the minister of Labour and Employment, invited the leadership of JOHESU to a meeting wherein they were told that their issues were still being looked into.

CONHESS has been implemented for the medical doctors since 2009, he said, with other health workers left in limbo.

"Patients that are fit enough to be discharged to other health facilities will be asked to do so, but those pretty ill will continue to receive medical attention from the staff that is within the hospital premises".

Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) yesterday described the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) as "an illegal body" that should not be accorded any recognition by Nigerians.

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