The meeting between Federal Government and the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) called by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige over the ongoing strike by the workers is to continue on Saturday 30th September, 2017.
Blueprint gathered that the meeting which started at 3:30 pm on Tuesday 26, September 2017 ended at 3 am Wednesday with the workers agreeing to take back Federal Government’s offer to their constituent.
The workers’ demands include adjustment of Consolidated Health Salaries Structure (CONHESS) as done for CONMESS since January 2014, abolition of scale to scale promotion and payment of outstanding arrears promotion, skipping and relativity.
Others are autonomy for teaching and specialist hospitals in the country and other issues, implementation of all court judgments and review of retirement age from 60-65 years as done for the tertiary education sector.
Sources at the meeting told Blueprint that Federal Government made an offer to the unions, and begged them to call off their strike in the interest of Nigerians and patients who were abandoned as a result of the strike.
Minister of Labour and Employment Dr. Chris Ngige had earlier said government is worried that workers in the essential services are embarking on strike, since their action would affect the populace.
According to the minister, both the International Labour Organisation (ILO) and Nigeria Labour laws recognises the right of workers to strike, but warn against those on the essential services going on strike.
“The meeting didn’t end till 3 am the next day. Government made an offer to the workers but they are meeting with their organ and return back on Saturday. Possibly they may suspend the strike by Monday”.
In an interview with Blueprint, National Secretary of JOHESU, Comrade Florence Ekpebo confirmed that the unions are to take what government presented to their various NEC for deliberation and return back on Saturday with massage from the NEC.
She said all the unions that formed JOHESU are to convene their NEC meetings between today and Friday for deliberation on what the government presented and take a decision on the offer.
It would be recalled that Joint Health Sector Unions comprises of Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Senior Staff Association of Universities,Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAM), Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP) and Non Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutes (NASU) declared an industrial action on Monday, September 21, 2017 tag’operation Alligator bite’.