Following the expiration of the 15-day ultimatum earlier issued by the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and the Assembly of Healthcare Professionals, the umbrella body has issued a fresh notice of strike with another 15-day ultimatum to the federal government to address their demands.
The decision was part of resolutions reached by the groups on Friday after a National Executive Council (NEC) meeting.
Recall that JOHESU had, on September 2, delivered to the federal government, a 15-day ultimatum to meet its demands, after which the federal government held a meeting, featuring long hours of deliberations with the unions where an agreement was reached on September 7.
Following the expiration of the earlier ultimatum on Friday, Matthew Ajorutu, JOHESU Acting National Secretary, in a communique issued at the end of the NEC emergency meeting, announced the fresh notice of strike.
The NEC meeting had in attendance, 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.
According to Ajorutu the meeting reviewed JOHESU’s previous engagements with the federal government, and considered the appeal from President Muhammadu Buhari “on the need to show understanding with his administration and the president’s promise to pay any debt owed to health workers”.
The acting national secretary said the fresh 15-day ultimatum commences on September 18, 2021, and urged the federal government to speed up efforts to address the demands of the health workers.
“NEC-in-Session after long hours of exhaustive deliberations on issues surrounding the planned strike action resolved as follows: The Federal Ministry of Health should ensure speedy circularisation of all establishment and welfare matters as agreed during negotiation meetings.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“NEC-in-Session appreciates all members for their commitment and understanding towards the struggle for better working conditions, improved healthcare services and social justice for all.” The communique reads.