JOHESU Condemns Attack On Psychiatric Hospital, Seeks FG, NDDC Assistance

The Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) and Assembly of Health Professionals including the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) and members of the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital Calabar, Cross River State have condemned the attack carried out on the Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital by hoodlums and looters hiding under the guise of EndSARS protesters.

Led by Chairman of JOHESU, Daniel Odo, the profe4ssionals called on the Federal Government and other corporate organisations to offer assistance in remodeling the hospital especially due to the recent looting of some of its equipment and structures.

“The attack and desecration of our establishment to say the least was satanic and should be condemned by well-meaning individuals and groups. Items looted include refrigerators, computers, fans, generators, hospital beds, laboratory x-ray equipment, drugs, books, tables, and chairs among others.

READ ALSO: #EndSARS Protests: South East Governors Ask FG To Look Into Demands Of Youths

“All the official and private cars parked within the precincts of the hospital were vandalised without any milk of human kindness,” Mr Odo said.

He, however, saluted the courage, resilience, and sense of commitment to duty displayed by both the management team and members of staff who ensure that they render mental health services to patients literally on top of rubbles.

The Union appealed to the Federal Ministry of Health to dispatch a high-powered team to assess the extent of destruction towards finding a remedy.

“We appeal to the Federal Ministry of Humanitarian Affairs, Federal and Cross River State Emergency Management Agencies, and the Niger Delta Development Commission to come and assist us.

“We also call on members of the State Assembly  and National Assembly from Cross River, Non-Governmental Organisations, and philanthropists to come  and help us.”

Odo said further that urgent steps must be taken to improve the standard of services offered to patients as well as an improved working environment for members of staff.

He called for improved security around the facility to ensure the safety of lives and properties within the facility while also appreciating the courage displayed by workers during the attack.

JOHESU Suspends Warning Strike

A file photo of JOHESU President, Biobelemoye Josiah
A file photo of JOHESU President, Biobelemoye Josiah

 

The Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) has suspended its seven-day warning strike across the country.

In a statement issued by its National President, Biobékentóye Josiah, the health workers comprising five unions under JOHESU and the Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA) were expected to resume work on September 21.

“This is to bring to your notice that the 7-day nationwide warning strike embarked upon by the members of the Joint Health Sector Unions JOHESU) would come to end midnight of today, September 20, 2020.

“By this notice, all health workers under the five Unions that make up Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA) shall return to work on Monday, September 21, 2020 across all Federal Health Institutions in the country,” the statement partly read.

Josiah  also accused the Federal Government of resorting to intimidation and blackmail its members “using all forms of faceless organisation” rather than negotiating with the union.

The health workers had embarked on the warning strike on September 14 following the failure of the government to meet their demands.

Part of their demands included an upward review of COVID-19 special inducement and hazard allowances; the payment of all withheld salaries; and adjustment of Consolidated Medical Salary Structure since 2014, among others.

FG Begs JOHESU To Suspend Strike, Come To Negotiation Table

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire.

 

The Federal Government has appealed to the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) to suspend its nationwide strike.

The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire made the appeal on Monday during a briefing of the Presidential Task Force on COVID-19 in Abuja.

While noting that the call is necessary in view of the pandemic, the Minister asked the striking workers to sheathe their sword and come to the negotiation table.

“I use this opportunity to appeal to JOHESU to suspend their industrial action and go into negotiation,” he said.

“The position of the Ministry of Health is that strikes by healthcare workers jeopardise the lives of citizens, especially at such times of global health emergencies as now.

“Nigeria needs the service of all our health workers to control the spread of COVID-19. Issues around allowances are multi-sectoral and have always been saved with negotiations no matter how long it took.”

The minister’s plea comes hours after JOHESU President, Dr. Biobelomoye Josiah, asked the federal government to attend to its demands with the same seriousness is attached to those of the National Association of Resident Doctors.

The residents’ doctors, under NARD, also downed tools last week but called it off days after coming to an agreement with federal government representatives.

JOHESU, which is the umbrella body of health workers’ unions and associations in the country, said its demands merited such urgent attention, too.

 

 

You Attended To Doctors, Attend To Us Too, JOHESU Tells FG

 

The Joint Health Workers Union (JOHESU) on Monday said the federal government should attend to its demands with the same seriousness it attached to those of the National Association of Resident Doctors.

JOHESU President, Dr. Biobelomoye Josiah, made the remarks in an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily as its members commenced a nationwide strike on Monday.

The residents doctors, under NARD, also downed tools last week but called it off days after coming to an agreement with federal government representatives.

JOHESU, which is the umbrella body of health workers’ unions and associations in the country, said its demanded merited such urgent attention, too.

“We gave a 15-day notice that was to expire by Sunday, midnight,” Josiah said. “They reached out to us on Thursday. They waited until Thursday.

“When we went into the discussions, rather than go in with open minds, they started with intimidation. They threatened us, and at the end of the day, they followed up with insincerity, gross insincerity and dishonesty on their part of discussions.

“We took it back to our NEC. And the expanded NEC reviewed everything and found out that there was nothing tangible.”

The JOHESU chief said one of its demands include the correction of COVID-19 allowances being paid to its members.

“They are still paying the faulty 10 percent to our members, when the agreement said they should be paying 50 percent,” he said. “Paragraph 1a of the agreement was explicit – whoever was earning N5,000, replace that N5,000 with 50 percent of COVID allowance.”

Other than the COVID allowance, Josiah added that its members have been punished for previous strikes actions with the implementation of the federal government’s ‘no work, no pay’.

“JOHESU has been peaceful for two years,” he said. “We waited for them to solve all these problems and they refused.

“Even court judgement has said they should implement in four weeks. This judgement was passed in March 2019. And we waited patiently and they decided that our patience is foolishness, our patriotism is stupidity.

“So JOHESU members have decided that even if it is going to be their death, they would rather be off again, because the caregiver must be alive to also give his care.”

What The JOHESU President Said?

Dr. Josiah was in combative mood on Monday during his interview. He lamented the poor attention the union has received from federal government representatives and vowed that union leaders were ready to go to prison for their stand.

“When there is gross bias exhibited . . . others have gone on strike during the climax of COVID in this country,” he said. “They never say they have apprehended any strike, they discussed and then they gave six over eight. We reduced our demands from over 15 to five; and then we said okay, just give three. And they are still playing games with it.

A file photo of JOHESU President, Biobelemoye Josiah
A file photo of JOHESU President, Biobelemoye Josiah

 

“On the first of July, we agreed with them to correct this COVID-19 allowances, they refused to correct it, and then our consolidated salary adjustment, which they entered that agreement in 2017, to be implemented in five weeks; and today, it’s three years now. Have they done it? No.

“If conciliation fails, what next? If conciliation comes with dishonesty, what next? If a conciliator is biased, what next? We have given a 15-day ultimatum and the legal books they are referring to, says for those in essential services, that you must give 15 days before you withdraw services. And that is exactly what we have done. And within the 15 days,

“They threatened us with no work, no pay, with court orders. JOHESU leaders are ready to be in prison. I think the courts are not stupid.

“Some of the reasons we went on strike for in 2018, structural decay, the management of the system, was to make the system better for Nigerians. And they punished us for that. So it’s not just because of our allowances. We are in a family; we make up 95 percent of the family.”

Ready for Dialogue

The JOHESU President, however, said its members were ready for dialogue.

“But the dialogue must be serious,” he said.

“We sympathise with Nigerians. But they also should bear with us. We have been patient for two years.

“Now they say they’ve released money, but it’s still the old amount, meaning they are not ready to correct what they agreed to correct.”

On Friday in Abuja, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, had asked the union to shelve its planned industrial action.

Ngige argued that the Federal Government has the powers to sanction union over behaviour he described as “off the line.”

“As part of the government, we have our own powers to sanction unions. We told them yesterday we have our powers. It is here, the powers of the President and the Minister of Labour to sanction unions,” Ngige said while displaying the Labour Laws.

JOHESU Declares Nationwide Strike

A team of Doctors carrying out surgery on a patient

 

The Joint Health Workers Union (JOHESU) has asked its members to withdraw their services and embark on a nationwide strike starting from midnight on Sunday, September 13, 2020.

This decision was reached after the National Executive Council (NEC) of the union held a meeting on Saturday.

The Union in a statement on Sunday said it gave the Federal Government one week to address all lingering issues and nothing concrete had been achieved.

The health workers are asking the Federal Government to address the failures and decaying infrastructure in the health sector and pay the shortfall in COVID-19 hazard allowances for their members.

The Union is also seeking the adjustment of the Consolidated Health Salary Structure, implementation of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria consent judgment and other court judgments, and pay all outstanding salary arrears.

Read Full Statement Below:

JOINT HEALTH SECTOR UNIONS &

ASSEMBLY OF HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS

Ayuba Wabba House, Plot 803, Cadastral Zone, Bo2 Durumi District, Area 1 Garkl-Abuja

Email:[email protected] Tel: 08034029560, 08033556014

HO/JOHESU/ADM/FMoH/VOL.I/58

12h September 2020

The Honourable Minister

Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment

Federal Secretariat Complex

Abuja

Dear Sir,

RE: NOTICE OF 15-DAY ULTIMATUM/OUTCOME OF JOHESU

EXPANDED NEC MEETING

You would recall that at the end of the meeting held in your office on

Thursday, 10″ September 2020, JOHESU demanded that the outcome of the meeting between JOHESU and the Federal Government be reported back to our expanded NEC meeting and give feedback to the Federal government within 48 hours.

In light of the above, the meeting of our expanded NEC was held today, Saturday, 12″ September 2020. And at the end of the meeting, which was held both physically and virtually, it was unanimously agreed that since nothing concrete was achieved at the said meeting with the Federal Government, that the strike notice is still germane and alive.

Therefore, the 15-day ultimatum still subsists and with effect from midnight of Sunday, 13th September 2020, our members shall withdraw their services due to the Federal Government’s inability to meet their demands.

Kindly accept the assurances of our high esteem.

Signed:

Com. Biobelemoye Joy Josiah,

President

Medical & Health Workers’

Union of Nigeria (MHWUN)

Com. (Dr.) Silas 6. Adamu

Secretary-General

Medical & Health Workers’

Union of Nigeria (MHWUN)

Com. A. A. Adenij mn

President,

National Association of Nigeria

Nurses and Midwives (NANNM)

Com A. A. Shettima

General Secretary

National Association of Nigeria

Nurses and Midwives (NANNM)

Com. (Dr)A. B. Akintola

President,

Senior Staff Association of Universities Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes

And Associated Institutions (55AUTHRIAI)

Com. (Dr.) Ezekiel Popoola

General 5ecretary

Senior Staff Association of Universities Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes

And Associated Institutions (5SAUTHRIAI)

Com. Martin Egbanubi

General Secretary

Nigerian Union of Allied

Health Professionals (NUAHI

Com. (Dr.) 0.. Ogbonna

President

Nigerian Union of Alied

Health Professionals NUAtP)

Com. Hassan Makolo

National President,

Non-Academic Staff Union of

Educational & Associated

Institutions (NASU)

Com. P. A. Adeyem

General Secretary

Non-Academic Staff Union of

Educational & Associated

Institutions (NASU)

Ngige Threatens To Sanction JOHESU Over Planned Strike

A file photo of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige.

 

The Federal Government has threatened to sanction members of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) over its planned strike.

The union had threatened to embark on a nationwide seven-day warning strike if the government fails to meet their demands which include payment of hazard and inducement allowance by mid-night of Sunday, September 13.

In a statement signed by its national chairman, Joy Josiah, JOHESU said the warning strike will only involve federal institutions while the states and local government health institutions will be placed “on red alert for possible entry into the fray if the federal government foot-drags in attending to our demands”.

But speaking on Friday in Abuja, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, asked the union to shelve its planned industrial action.

Ngige argued that the Federal Government has the powers to sanction union over behaviour he described as “off the line.”

“As part of the government, we have our own powers to sanction unions. We told them yesterday we have our powers. It is here, the powers of the President and the Minister of Labour to sanction unions,” Ngige said while displaying the Labour Laws.

“When the existence is no longer beneficial on the interest of the nation, especially those on essential services, we don’t need to all flex our muscles and say this is our power.

“We don’t want to use it. We don’t want to come close to even using it. The way the government has been made a punching bag, everybody punches and says this government is deceitful, this government has not done this even when we have done them.”

On his part, JOHESU president vowed that the union will go ahead with its plans to down tools should the government fail to address their concerns.

“Laws of the International Labour Organisation on no work no pay and all that have been selectively used on us.

“I want to state it clearly that the JOHESU leadership here, we are ready to even pay the sacrifice of going to prison because that is the last of the threat. It was said before and today it is also being quoted,” Josiah said adding that their demands are legitimate.

Gbajabiamila Intervenes In Planned JOHESU Strike

A file photo of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
A file photo of Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

 

The Speaker of the House of Representatives Rep. Femi Gbajabiamila has intervened in the planned strike action by the Joint Health Sector Union and the Assembly of Healthcare Professionals (JOHESU), FCT chapter, over issues of irregularities in salary payment, among others.

The Speaker, at a meeting with the officials of the union at the National Assembly, Abuja on Monday, pleaded with the health workers to extend the ultimatum they gave the FCT Administration on the matter.

The JOHESU leadership had on May 7, given the government up to May 28 to address the issues of irregularities in salary payment since January, non-payment of arrears of promotion from 2016, 2017 and 2018, delay in the release of conversion and proper placement of some of the workers, among others.

But Gbajabiamila, while pleading with the FCT health workers to tarry a while on the issue, promised them that the House would deliberate on the matter at plenary on Tuesday, May 19, 2020, and come up with a strong resolution.

Gbajabiamila also hinted that the House would meet with officials from the FCTA, the Federal Ministry of Finance, the Budget Office and IPPIS officials to ensure that all issues are resolved with immediate effect.

Speaking at the meeting, the chairman of JOHESU, FCT chapter, Deborah Yusufu, while commending the Speaker for his intervention and for being physically present on two occasions to meet with them as well as directing the House Committee on Healthcare Services to continue meeting them, said she will take the speaker’s position back to her union.

She also commended the Speaker and the House for recognising health workers and their sacrifices in the fight against COVID-19 by way of standing ovation during plenary last week.

The meeting was attended by the Deputy Majority Leader, Rep Peter Akpatation; Deputy Chief Whip, Rep Nkeiruka Onyejeocha; Minority Leader, Rep Ndudi Elumelu; Chairman House Committee on Healthcare Services, Rep Tanko Sununu, while other JOHESU officials present were Shanabo Abubakar, Simon Audu, Kamaldeen Ibrahim, TIjjani Mufutau and Jama Medan.

JOHESU Urges Health Workers To Join FG’s Fight Against COVID-19

 

The Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU and Assembly of Healthcare Professionals(AHPA) has called on all health workers across Nigeria to support governments, both federal and states in curtailing the spread of the novel Corona virus (COVID-19) pandemic.

This is according to letter jointly-signed by the national chairman and secretary of JOHESU, Comrade Bio Joy Josiah and Comrade Ekpebor Florence.

In its letter, JOHESU thanked members in their courageous efforts so far, especially those at boarder/entry points, emergency units, ICU and in various Isolation Centres.

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JOHESU thanked its members for their resilience and commitment to combat the dreaded COVID-19 menace.

The health body observed that despite agitations among health workers over unkept commitment and promises from federal and states government, health workers have stood tall in the forefront as first responders in stemming the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic

While saluting the commitment and patriotism shown by members, the leadership of JOHESU called for both Federal and State governments to provide the needed tools like PPEs and other necessary gadgets, etc, for the protection of members at this very trying time of our Nation.

JOHESU commended President Muhammadu Buhari for an instructive broadcast on covid-19 while demanding strong inclusion of our members in the implementation of the various  economic stimulus measures, interventions and palliatives mentioned in the speech to motivate health professionals and staff.

The health body charged members to actively participate in all Task force/Committees and called for the inclusion of members in the various COVID-19 taskforces and committees by both Federal and State governments in combating the pandemic.

JOHESU appealed to Nigerians to adhere to all instructions/regulations, including, strict hygiene processes, social distancing, stay at home order and work from home directives which guide against further spread of the virus.

Health Workers Commence Three-Day Protest Rally

 

Members of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) have commenced a three-day protest rally to draw attention to their demands for improved welfare.

The action is in compliance with the directives from the National Secretariat of JOHESU, asking members to commence a three-day protest rally from 8 am till noon each day.

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Topping their demands is the payment of their salaries for the month of April and May 2018, when they were on strike.

Salaries of members for those two months were withheld, on the basis of the ‘No Work No Pay’ policy of the Federal government.

Health Workers Union Threatens To Embark On Strike

 

The Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) has issued a threat to take industrial actions over what it describes as indifference on the part of the Federal Government to resolve their labour dispute.

In a press statement by JOHESU’s President, Mr Josiah Biobelemonye, the health workers threatened to resume their industrial action any time from now.

The development comes two weeks after the union issued a 15-day ultimatum, asking the government to implement a new salary adjustment structure.

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They also want the government to pay all salaries of members withheld between April and May last year.

The five affiliate unions of JOHESU are the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals and Medical and Health Workers’ Union.

Others include the Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions and Association of Medical Laboratory Scientists of Nigeria.

JOHESU Suspends Strike, Members To Resume On Monday

Imo, Health,

 

The Joint Health Workers Union (JOHESU) has suspended its nationwide strike.

The union suspended its strike on Thursday and directed all members to resume work on Monday, June 4, 2018.

President of JOHESU, Mr Josiah Biobelemonye, while briefing journalist in Abuja, said the strike was called off following the intervention of the Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki after several meetings with the union and the Federal Government had ended in a deadlock.

Also, a non- governmental organization had earlier gotten a court order from the National Industrial Court in Abuja, compelling the striking health workers to resume, an order that the union has also challenged.

The health workers in April embarked on the industrial action, accusing the Federal Government of failing to honour terms of agreements it reached since 2009, especially the one reached on September 30, 2017, which had a time frame of five weeks.

The lingering strike by the health workers had caused a serious setback in the health sector, forcing patients to use the private hospitals.

Following this development, the Senate President held a meeting on May 28, 2018,  with JOHESU and the Minister of Labour, Productivity and Employment, Dr.Chris Ngige and Minister of Health, Professor Issac Adewole.

After the meeting, the Senate President hinted that some progress had been made to bring the strike to an end as reports suggest the Federal Government has made a better offer to the union.

Dr Saraki’s meeting with the striking workers followed the resolution on May 15, 2018, to intervene in the crisis which it observed could hamper Nigeria’s ability to prevent or react to another Ebola virus outbreak in Nigeria.

 

 

Saraki, JOHESU To Meet Again On Monday Over Health Workers’ Strike

Senate President Bukola Saraki

 

Senate President Bukola Saraki will meet the leadership of the Joint Health Sector Unions for the second time on Monday, as the Senate continues its quest to halt the lingering strike embarked by health workers under the aegis of the union.The Senate President’s media office said the meeting will hold in Dr Saraki’s office by 3 pm.

Dr Saraki also confirmed the meeting via tweets.

“Following my meeting last Friday with the Ministers of Labour and Health, I will be having a follow up meeting tomorrow with the leadership of JOHESU, the second in under a week,” he tweeted.

The health workers had embarked on strike in April, accusing the Federal Government of failing to honour terms of agreements it reached JOHESU since 2009, especially the agreement reached on September 30, 2017, which had a time frame of five weeks.

As part of efforts to end the lingering strike which has pitched JOHESU against the NMA, the Senate President held a meeting with JOHESU’s and the Minister of Labour, Productivity and Employment, Dr.Chris Ngige and Minister of Health, Professor Issac Adewole, on Friday morning.

Since the meeting, the Senate President hinted that some progress had been made to bring the strike to an end as reports suggest the Federal Government has made a better offer to the union.

He said, “If it is true that government has improved on its offers to JOHESU, it will be desirable for the health workers to also stretch out a hand of fellowship – in good faith – to meet the government mid-way and accept the offer, so that we can finally resolve this matter and have a win-win situation for the union, the government and the Nigerian people who make use of our public health institutions.”

Dr Saraki’s meeting with the striking workers followed the resolution on May15, 2018, to intervene in the crisis which it observed could hamper Nigeria’s ability to prevent or react to another Ebola virus outbreak in Nigeria.

The concerns followed the Ebola outbreak in Congo.