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.

READ ALSO: APC Will Not Field Candidates For Governorship, NASS, State Assembly Elections In Zamfara — INEC

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.

Senate Meets With JOHESU, Pledges To Ensure Strike Is Called Off

 

The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, has said that the Senate and the National Assembly, would ensure that the right thing is done to end the strike embarked upon by the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU).

He said it is not in the interest of the country to have its hospitals closed adding that the Senate would work with all stakeholders to ensure that the strike is called off.

The Senate President disclosed this after a meeting with the leadership of JOHESU where he listened to their grievances and demands, on Friday and met with the Minister of Health, Prof. Isaac Adewole and the Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, to hear their own side of the issue.

While meeting with the JOHESU leadership led by its Chairman, Comrade Biobelemonye Joseph, the President of the Senate, pledged that the Senate would ensure that the right thing is done to end the strike.

The Chief Press Secretary to the President of the Senate, Sanni Onogu, in a statement in Abuja, said Saraki’s meeting with Adewole and Ngige was meant to hear their side of the issue and to forge a way forward, not only to end the strike but to ensure that there is a lasting peace and industrial harmony in the nation’s health institutions.

 

“Our interest here in the Senate and the National Assembly, in general, is to find a solution to this problem. It is not in the interest of the country for us to have our hospitals closed and we must work to ensure they are reopened promptly.

“I have heard your remarks, I will spend sometimes to discuss with you and get more details to see how we can put an end to this strike.

“On our own part, we will bring all parties involved together to ensure that where commitments have been made, those who made the commitments honour them.

“The only thing I can assure you is that we will make sure that the right thing is done and that this matter is resolved,” he said.

NMA Accuses JOHESU Of Sabotage Over Lingering Strike

Health, NMA, Nigerian Medical Association

 

 

The Nigeria Medical Association (NMA) has accused the members of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) of sabotage and fabricating stories making outrageous demands from the Federal Government.

The NMA is blaming the JOHESU on why the industrial action embarked upon has continued to linger on.

According to the NMA, the strike situation has affected health services in some government hospitals across the country.

At this news conference in Abuja, members of the NMA described the industrial action as an act targeted at them.

The association insisted that the crux of the matter is agitations for equal pay with the medical doctors, an allegation that JOHESU leadership denies.
The striking health workers resumed negotiations with the Federal Government on Tuesday behind closed doors.

However, a statement from the Ministry of Labour and Employment after that meeting urged the JOHESU members to obey a court order that allegedly directed the striking health workers to suspend their action with 24 hours, a development that JOHESU have also responded to.

The endless strike in the health sector is already taking its toll on patients, and the apparent power play between the NMA, JOHESU and the federal government is obviously not in the interest of patients who want the crisis resolved in immediately.

At Least 19 JOHESU Members Injured In Road Accident

At Least 19 JOHESU Members Injured In Road Accident
This photo shows one of the injured victims of the auto-crash which occurred along the Benin-Auchi Road on May 19, 2018.

 

Some members of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) chapter of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) were involved in an accident along the Benin-Auchi Road on Saturday.

Nineteen out of the 40 health workers were said to have been severely injured and rushed to the Otibho Okhai Hospital in Irrua, Edo State, where they were being treated by doctors and consultants on duty.

The victims were said to be on their way to a function in Auchi when the accident occurred.

The President of the Association of Resident Doctors at the Irrua Specialist Teaching Hospital, Dr Esteem Tagar, who confirmed the incident to Channels Television, said no death was recorded in the accident.

Meanwhile, the health sector union has refused to call off its industrial action which is now in its fourth week.

The union had, however, suspended the strike in Lagos, Kano and Yobe states, where the governments were said to have complied with the demand for salary adjustment.

NMA Says JOHESU Is Illegal, Faults Negotiation With FG

Health, NMA, Nigerian Medical Association

 

The Kaduna state branch of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), has asked the Federal Government not to enter any negotiation with the Joint Health Sector Workers Union (JOHESU) over the ongoing strike embarked upon by the union.

The Kaduna NMA described the group as an illegal and non-professional body which should therefore not be recognized by the government.

Chairman of the association Dr Abdulrahaman Shehu, made this known on Thursday at a news conference in Kaduna.

According to him, the purpose of the strike is to sabotage the genuine effort of the government towards ensuring a lasting industrial harmony and development of the country’s health sector.

Speaking further, he described the agitation by the health workers for equal salary and rank with medical doctors as laughable and unrealistic.

Shehu, therefore, stated that any attempt by the Federal Government to distort the existing agreement it entered with the medical doctors in 2014 will be resisted by the association.

He also appealed to other healthcare workers in the country to stay within their roles as team players in the nation’s health sector, noting that their quest for headship in any aspect of clinical practice is uncalled for and has only brought untold hardship to patients and their relatives.

His comments come after the health workers had a meeting with the Federal Government on Wednesday night, to bring an end to the strike which has last for about a month.

The meeting which was chaired by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, and Prof Issac Adewole, Minister of Health, was said to have ended abruptly after some aggrieved members stormed out of the conference room.

The session is however expected to continue today (May, 17, 2018).

Meanwhile, some groups have faulted the government for what they described as its failure to act fast and resolve the lingering strike.

One of such is the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who on Tuesday said “the refusal by President Muhammadu Buhari to address the devastating strike action by health workers across the country, is a clear manifestation of insensitivity to the plight and suffering of Nigerians.”

The Party, however, pleaded with the health workers to be more open to ways to solve the problem, so as to “forestall an outbreak of epidemic and health crisis”.

JOHESU Strike: Patients Beg FG To Intervene

Imo, Health,
file photo

 

Following the strike embarked upon by Joint Health Sector Union to drive home their demands, hospital activities in Kogi state have been paralysed as patients appeal to the Federal Government to wade into the current situation in the health sector.

At the Federal Medical Center in Lokoja, nurses and health workers have all complied with the strike while some of the health workers who were making a concerted effort to render services to the patients are hindered by the members of the union.

The Joint Action Committee of All Registered Committee and Union of Kogi State specialist hospital (JACK)had last year October went on strike for non-payment of salaries by the Kogi state government, having called off the strike early this year, doctors and nurses where still seen carrying placards with inscriptions “Work To Rule” seating in their offices without attending to patients.

A visit by our correspondent to FMC Lokoja, shows activities have been paralysed by the strike action, patients can no longer be seen, while most of the wards are locked up, union members are on the ground to ensure compliance by their members.

The FMC JOHESU chairman appealed to Federal Government to do the needful, so that they can resume back to work.

JOHESU Protests ‘Illegal’ Salary Deduction In FMC Owerri

FILE PHOTO

The Joint Health Sector Union Workers (JOHESU) at the Federal Medical Centre, (FMC), Owerri has accused the management of illegal deduction of September salary without any directive from the Federal Government.

The health workers disclosed this during a protest carried out within the hospital premises on Tuesday, November 21.

The workers were seen carrying placards with various inscription insisting that the management of the institution should do the needful. They also accused the management of delay in the release of the senior staff promotion list, high-handedness and victimization of staff.

READ ALSO: FG Urges JOHESU Not To Embark On Strike

The Public Relations Officer of the Union, Solomon Nwafuru said the management should regularise their salaries for peace and harmony to reign in the centre.

All efforts to get the management to respond to the allegations proved abortive as the Public Relations Officer, Jesinta Achonu said the management is not ready to speak on the matter, until further notice.

Strike: Resident Doctors Beg States Not To Jeopardize FG Agreement

Following the restoration of relative industrial peace in the health sector, the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) is appealing to state governors not to jeopardize the terms of settlement brokered by the Federal Government.

The President of NARD, Ugochukwu Chinaka raised concerns over the development in some teaching Federal and State hospitals which may adversely affect the agreement sealed with the Federal Government.

READ ALSO: Health Workers Union, JOHESU Suspends Nationwide Strike

Chinaka said, “We are advising all noncompliant chief executives officers to eschew actions inimical to the present peace to avoid further escalation.

“We are committed to the full implementation of the agreement with the Federal Government and nothing must happen with that agreement. All that we have agreed should be implemented to the letter.

Health Workers Union, JOHESU Suspends Nationwide Strike

The Joint Health Sector Union has suspended its industrial action in principle.

The suspension follows a conciliation meeting between its leadership and representatives of the Federal Government in Abuja on Saturday.

Consequently, the union has asked its members across the country to resume work on Wednesday next week after a meeting of its executive members to ratify the decision on Tuesday.

Health workers under the union had started an industrial action on September 21, a day after it declared the strike.

They went on strike one week after the Federal Government resolved the dispute with resident doctors.

The union had demanded the revamp of infrastructure in the tertiary health institutions; report of the inter-ministerial sub-committee on critical matters in the health sector; professional autonomy; among others.

Saturday’s meeting between the leadership of the union and representatives of the Federal Government was the second reconciliatory meeting between both sides.

The first meeting between both sides earlier in the week had ended in a deadlock with both sides disagreeing on the legality of the strike.

At the meeting which was chaired by the Federal Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, and Health Minister, Issac Adewole, Ngige accused the health workers of failing to abide by the country’s labour laws.

But the union insisted that no labour law had been violated by their action.

Both ministers were absent at Saturday’s meeting and were represented by the Minister of State for Labour and the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Health.

The Joint Health Sector Workers Union is made up of National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, Senior Staff Association of Universities’ Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions, Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals, among others.