Health workers begin indefinite strike tomorrow

THE Joint Health Sector Unions, comprising all trade unions in the health sector has directed all their members (health workers) at the federal tertiary health institutions, to commence an indefinite strike as from tomorrow.
Members at the states and local government health facilities are, however, to wait for a week before they could join the strike as from next week Thursday.
The stay- at-home order was announced in a statement signed on Tuesday by the National President Medical & Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), Comrade Ayuba Wabba; the Secretary General of MHWUN, Comrade Marcus Omokhuale; the National President, National Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institution, Comrade Adeniji A. A and the acting General Secretary, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Comrade Yusuf Badmus.
The strike directive follows the expiration of the 21-day ultimatum issued to the Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Okechukwu by JOHESU to implement the agreement reached by both parties and to also implement the recent ruling of the National Industrial Court (NIC).
The NIC has ruled in favour of the health workers over the issues in contention, such as the Non-Skipping of Salary CONHESS 10; the National Health Bill, the Consultancy and Specialist Allowances, and the Call/Shift duty and other professional allowances, after the minister of labour and productivity, had referred the case to the NIC when he could not resolve the crisis through tripartite dialogue.
The union leaders were further irked by the refusal of Health minister to attend a meeting called at the instance of the labour minister on Monday to see how the strike could be averted.
Prof. Chukwu boycotted the meeting and did not send anybody to represent the ministry.
The strike, according to the directive is to commence at midnight today.
The statement said in part: “Consequently upon the expiration of the ultimatum given, members of unions in JOHESU have been directed to proceed on an indefinite strike action with effect from 12 midnight of 21st August, 2013, at the Federal Tertiary Health Institutions, while our members at the state and local government health facilities shall join as from 12 midnight of 28 August, 2013.
“While we sincerely apologise the inconveniences this action may cause Nigerian citizens, the Minister of Health, Professor Christian Onyebuchi Chukwu should be held responsible.”

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