Joint Health Workers Union Declares Nationwide Strike


Nigeria’s health sector might experience another shutdown as nurses and midwives, including other health workers under the aegis of Joint Health Workers Union (JOHESU) have declared a nationwide industrial action.

This is coming one week after the Federal Government resolved the dispute with resident doctors.

The announcement about the strike was made by President, Association of Nurses and Midwives, Abdurafiu Adeniji after the meeting of the Union’s national executive council in Abuja, on Wednesday.

The group had earlier released a statement signed by the National President, Obinna Ogbonna and the national secretary Ayinde Obisesan, threatening a shutdown of healthcare services in the healthcare nationwide.

READ ALSO: More Health Workers Threaten To Go On Strike

Highlight of the demands of the groups include, revamping the infrastructure in the tertiary health institutions; report of the inter-ministerial sub-committee on critical matters in the health sector; professional autonomy; among others.

The president of the Union insist on complying fully with the directives of the JOHESU to down tools on Thursday, September 21.

JOHESU Gives FG ‘Final Ultimatum’, Threatens Indefinite Strike

JOHESU Gives FG 'Final Ultimatum', Threatens Indefinite Strike

More troubles loom in Nigeria’s healthcare sector, as the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) has given the Federal Government a seven-day ultimatum to meet its demands.

While the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) is still on strike, JOHESU also threatened to embark on an indefinite strike from September 20, if the government fails to address all its concerns.

The health workers are demanding for the payment of promotion arrears to their members, the abolition of scale to scale promotion and the implementation of all court judgements given in their favour.

This comes as the Federal Government struggles to settle the resident doctors who have been on strike since September 4, a situation that has unleashed untold hardship on patients in public hospitals.

Addressing a press conference on Wednesday in Abuja, JOHESU President, Biobelemoye Josiah, decried government’s failure to meet their demands which he said they have been negotiating since May 2012.

Biobelemoye Josiah

According to him, the unions have resolved to inform Nigerians of their intention to “down tools as from the midnight of Wednesday, September 20, 2017.”

Josiah accused the government of frustrating the implementation of court judgements, saying the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) had ruled promotion issues concerning JOHESU members.

“We were in court till 2013 when judgement was given in favour of JOHESU,” he said, adding “The Federal Ministry of Health has been frustrating the implementation of the court judgements by introducing same scale promotion.”

“For instance, when members are promoted from CONHES 9 to 11, at subsequent promotions, they will be promoted from CONHES 11 to CONHES 11. This is totally unacceptable.”

The JOHESU President said the seven days ultimatum would come to effect from Thursday, after which he said they would begin a total indefinite industrial action on Wednesday next week, should government fails to meet their demands.

“We are left with no options than to give a final seven-day ultimatum, with effect from Thursday, September 14, 2017,” he said.

“And if by the midnight of Wednesday, September 20, 2017, our demands are not met, all our members nationwide are called upon to embark on indefinite total strike.”

More Health Workers Threaten To Go On Strike

File Photo

Health professionals, including the Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP) and Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) are threatening to embark on nationwide strike. 

This is coming amidst the ongoing industrial strike by National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD), which has been met with deadlock reconciliation meetings between the doctors and the Federal Government.

The group in a release signed by the National President, Obinna Ogbonna and the national secretary Ayinde Obisesan, threatened a shutdown of healthcare services in the healthcare nationwide giving the Federal Government an ultimatum which is expected to elapse September 30, 2017.

“Considering other mobilisation factors and to give the government further room to address our demands, come 30th September 2017, if the government refuses to meet our demands, the union will have no other option than to shut down health care services nationwide.

Highlight of the demands of the groups include, “Revamping the infrastructure in the tertiary health institutions; report of the inter-ministerial sub-committee on critical matters in the health sector; professional autonomy;

“Non- payment of backlog of arrears; Residency training for other health professionals; Appointments of consultants and payment of specialist allowance; Surgeon general; National health act implementation, among several other issues.”

The group, therefore, called on the Federal Government to implement all agreements and memorandum of understanding reached with NUAHP/JOHESU on or before the expiration of the ultimatum to avert the looming industrial action.

Oshiomhole Increases Health Workers’ Salaries

OshiomholeEdo State Governor, Adams Oshiomhole, has increased the salaries of health workers in the state by five per cent

The Governor made the pronouncement on Friday when he invited members of the Joint Health Workers’ Union to the Edo State Government House.

Governor Oshiomhole said that though, the state capacity to pay salaries has not increased, the government decided on the increment of workers’ salaries because of the harsh economic realities.

Chairman of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), Agbonlahor Osaretin, pledged the workers’ commitment to duty in line with the motivation received.

Ogun State Health Sector Union Suspends Strike

Ogun State health WorkersThe Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) in Ogun State have suspended their four-week old industrial action which had paralysed activities at the Federal Medical Centre, Idi Aba, Abeokuta.

The health workers are requesting for improved condition of service.

A visit to the medical centre in the state capital revealed that members of the union are back at their various duty posts with patients receiving medical attention.

The Chairman of the Senior Staff Association in Abeokuta Federal Medical Centre, Mr Samuel Idowu, said the suspension of the industrial action became imperative in view of positive steps being taken by the hospital management aimed at resolving the impasse.

He, however, asked members of the union to rededicate themselves for quick service delivery to the public, whom he stressed looked towards the hospital for their medical attention.

Health Workers Threaten Strike

Health workersThe Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and the Assembly of Healthcare Professionals (AHPA) have issued a 15-day ultimatum from February 3, 2016 to the federal government to look into their demands or face an industrial action.

The health workers have been having a protracted dispute with the federal government over a number of demands.

Some of their demands include the implementation of a circular on promotion from CONHESS 14 to 15 and the reconstitution of what the coalition calls lopsided composition of the board of management of teaching hospitals among others.

Medical doctors are, however, not part of the threat by the coalition of unions and associations of healthcare workers in Nigeria to go on strike.

FMC Owo Staff Protest Kidnap Of Colleague

FMC Owo: Staff Protest Kidnap Of ColleagueStaff of the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Owo in Ondo State have staged a peaceful protest over the abduction of one of their members.

The workers, under the aegis of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), demanded the immediate and unconditional release of a Pharmacist, Mrs Queen Adeyeye, who was kidnapped last Saturday in the Southwest Nigerian state.

The aggrieved workers abandoned their duty posts to stage the protest, carrying placards to express their demand.

The woman, said to be a widow, was kidnapped while returning home from a vigil on that fateful day.

The Chairman of JOHESU, FMC, Owo, Joseph Omoniyi as well as other numbers threatened to down tool indefinitely if their colleague was not released.

They appealed to the government and well-meaning Nigerians to come to the aid of workers of the medical centre, saying their lives were no longer safe.

Health Workers Commence Nationwide Strike

Health workersHealth workers under the aegis of Nigerian Union of Allied Health professionals (NUAHP) in all government hospitals across the country on Tuesday declared the commencement of an indefinite strike.

National President of the Union, Comrade Obinna Ogbonna, who called for the industrial action after a meeting with health professionals at the Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex (OAUTHC) in Ile-ife, Osun State, said that the strike became imperative following the failure by outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan to honour the agreement reached by both parties.

Since 2014, health workers particularly members of the NUAHP began agitation for several issues ranging from implementation of ‎agreed salary of all health professionals as done for NMA, to the payment of arrears on skipping of CONHESS-10 since year 2010 in compliance with court judgement.

Other requests which include appointment of health professionals as Chief Medical Directors ‎and many others have however met with a brick wall leading to various strikes.

The Union said that in February 2015, outgoing President Goodluck Jonathan met with the leadership of JOHESU and appealed for suspension of the ongoing strike at that time with the promise to resolve the pending issues.

According to the union, all promises are yet to be fulfilled, hence the call for the members to proceed on an indefinite strike.

In spite of appeal, the strike has been called and the members comprising of medical laboratory scientists, physiotherapists, dieticians, radiologists, optometrists and medical social service workers in hospitals across the states will boycott work, crippling major activities in the hospitals.

JOHESU Vows To Continue Strike Until Demands Are Met

health workersAn immediate end to the current industrial action embarked upon by members of the Joint Health Sectors Unions (JOHESU), which has paralyse activities across Federal Government  hospitals across the country may not be in sight as the body  has vowed to carry on with its struggle until justice, equity and fair play is brought to the fore in the demands by the striking unions.

At a press conference in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, the National Vice  Chairman of the Union, Mr. Felix Faniran, accused the Federal Government of not being sincere in its dealings with health workers, saying the body has been polarized  by government, a situation, which he said, has continued to fan an ember of disunity between  the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and other health workers

While reiterating  that the struggle will continue until their demands are met, he however appealed to the general public  to bear with the unions

It will be recalled that members of JOHESU had embarked on a strike since November 12 to drive home their demands for a good working conditions and welfare.

FG Says Health Workers’ Strike ‘Unnecessary’

health workersThe Federal Government of Nigeria has described the industrial action by the Joint Health Sector Union as unjustifiable, unnecessary and unfortunate.

The supervising Minister of Health, Dr. Khaliru Alhassan, on Thursday stated the government’s position on the matter at a news conference held in Abuja.

Dr. Alhassan said the decision of health workers executive to embark on strike was unnecessary because there were ongoing negotiations between the union and the government.

The minister also said the call for strike suggested that there could be more to the incessant strikes by the union than what it was clamouring for.

The union had on Wednesday said it would commence an industrial action on Thursday  to press for the implementations of agreements reached between the union and the government two months ago.

The chairman of the union, Dr Wahab Ayuba, complained that the government had failed to implement court rulings and agreements over salaries harmonisation, promotions and the imposition of consultants in teaching hospitals who they claim now usurp administrative roles in the hospitals.

Minister Says There Is Notable Progress In Nigeria’s Health Sector

VFTPThe mission of the Ministry of Health is to develop and implement policies and programmes and undertake other actions to deliver effective, efficient, quality and affordable health services.

The Federal Ministry of Health has been in the news for the wrong reasons at different times. Strikes and threats of strike, rivalry among health sector professionals, lack of equipment and many more, tend to overshadow the progress being made by the ministry to improve Nigeria’s health indicators.

The Minister of Health, Professor Onyebuchi Chukwu has been in charge since the year 2010, and he joins us on this edition of ‘View From The Top’.

The Minister said that the Government was not doing badly, as it had recorded a reduction of maternal mortality rate in Nigeria by 56 per cent, which he said was no mean achievement.

In terms of immunisation, the government had also achieved 80 per cent coverage.

He, however, said that the federal system of government that Nigeria was practicing was contributing to problems with health indices. He complained that although Nigerians are beginning to understand how federal system ought to work, there were some local governments that are still waiting for the Federal Government to come and do everything for them.

The Minister also spoke about the several plans of the ministry for the year 2014. Enjoy the interview.

Health workers suspend nationwide strike

The National Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) on Monday suspended its one-week nationwide strike with effect from Tuesday.

This according to the union will give the federal government more time to meet its demands.

The Acting National Chairman of the Union, Felix Faniran announced the suspension at a press conference held at the NASU secretariat in Ibadan.

Mr Faniran, who said the decision was to minimise the sufferings of ordinary Nigerians, directed members of the union to resume work on Tuesday morning.

JOHESU, an amalgamation which comprises various professional unions in the health sector, had on May 7 embarked on the nationwide strike in federal health institutions.

Mr Faniran said the strike was justified because the government had refused to meet its 10 demands.

He, however, said six out of the demands of the union had been exhaustively discussed with both the Ministry of Labour and Productivity and Ministry of Health while they were resolved in favour of the union.

Mr Faniran listed the remaining four demands to be non-skipping of CONHESS 10, National Health Bill, consultancy status and payment of specialist allowance as well as negotiation of call duty and other professional allowances.

He urged the presidency to expedite action on the Presidential Committee Report on Harmonious Work Relationship among Health Professional and Workers.

Mr Faniran also implored members to show concern with Nigerians, adding that all issues raised would be resolved in their interest.