By Daniel Ayantoye
Health workers under the aegis of Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) commenced their nationwide strike today (Thursday) atmidnight.
Declaring the strike with the code name ‘Operation Alligator Bite’ during a press conference at the Kwara State secretariat of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) in Ilorin yesterday, the National Chairman of JOHESU, Comrade Biobelemoye Josiah, stated that the action was necessary due to Federal Government’s reluctance in meeting their demands, despite series of warning strikes.
He stressed that members of the union were being deprived of their rights, which according to him include promotion arrears, faulty adjustment of salary, non- implementation of step skipping, non- payment of specialist allowances among others.
Josiah who stated that series of ultimatums issued to the government to attract attention to the plight of the affected workers had proved abortive, added that the strike is to further ensure the Federal Government meets the demands.
“Series of MoUs, agreements and court cases which JOHESU and its sister unions won at National Industrial Court (NICN) were never implemented for our members while court judgments on skipping were implemented for the medical doctors who were never a part of the struggle.
“There is no commensurate response from the Federal Government, instead our demand were either outrightly jettisoned, treated with disdain, we were intimidated with court actions and the quick application of ‘no work, no pay’ ”
“This has necessitated the resolve of JOHESU to call out all our members nationwide to withdraw their services and stay at home with effect from midnight today, Thursday, 21st September, 2017, after waiting patiently till this time for the approval for adjustment of CONHESS, to no avail.”
Josiah who also said health workers are currently overburdened with workload, called on the Federal Government to adopt internship method for other health workers, if there is inadequate resources to employ more hand, in order to improve health service delivery in the country.
While calling on well-meaning Nigerians to put pressure on the Federal Government to meet their needs, he urged all members in the states and local governments to join the action if there is no positive response from the government after 15 days of the commencement of the strike.