By Christiana Onuoha
Worried about the excruciating suffering it’s proposed nationwide strike billed to commence today, September 18, 2021, will cause Nigerians, the National Executive Council of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) says it has stepped down its planned industrial action.
The union went on to say; it has therefore given to the Federal government another 15 days window of opportunity to meet its demands, failure to which it will not be held responsible for its actions.
While it called on the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure speedy circularisation of all establishment and welfare matters as agreed during negotiation meetings, JOHESU also said its decision to toe the path of diplomacy was inconsideration of an appeal by President Muhammadu Buhari on the need for the union to show understanding with his administration and his pledge to pay any debt owed health workers.
Contained in a in communique signed by its Ag. National Secretary, Comrade Mathew O. Ajorutu, for National Chairman, following a unanimous decision reached at its Expanded National Executive Council Emergency meeting held in Abuja, the Union in strongly terms said; “NEC-in-Session urges the Federal Government to reciprocate the patriotic humanitarian gesture of JOHESU in the interest of the larger Nigerian masses to expeditiously resolve all the demands within the fifteen days window.”
In part, the communique reads; “The emergency meeting of the expanded National Executive Council of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA), took place today, Friday, 17th September, 2021. The expanded NEC comprising of the Presidents and General Secretaries of affiliate unions and Professional Associations, NEC members of affiliate unions and JOHESU Chairmen and Secretaries at the State and Branch levels.
“NEC-in-Session critically appraised the reports of JOHESU negotiation and conciliation meetings with Federal Government since the declaration of the trade dispute through the fifteen days strike notice issued on 2nd September, 2021. NEC also noted the appeal from President Muhammadu Buhari on the need to show understanding with his administration and the President’s pledge to pay any debt owed health workers.
“NEC-in-Session after long hours of exhaustive of deliberations on issues surrounding the planned strike action resolved as follows: The Federal Government should ensure that the new data for the computation of the adjusted Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) for JOHESU members be completed and submitted to the “High Level Body” (HLB) of the FG not later than Wednesday, 22nd September, 2021 as agreed.
“NEC-in-Session urges the Federal Government to ensure that the “High Level Body” (HLB) complete and submit the computation of the adjusted CONHESS for inclusion in the 2022 budget within the 30th September, 2021 submission window.
“Finally, NEC-in-Session unanimously adopts a resolution to step down the notice of strike action due to expire mid-night 17th September, 2021 and issue a fresh notice of fifteen days.”