The Joint Health Sector Unions, which is the umbrella body for health workers in Nigeria, has declared a nationwide strike.
JOHESU, in a statement on Sunday, asked its members to withdraw services from midnight of Sunday, September 13, 2020.
The statement was titled ‘Notice of 15-day ultimatum/outcome of JOHESU expanded NEC meeting’.
The leadership of the health workers had on Friday met with the Federal Government on the industrial action.
After the meeting, the unions demanded to consult its members on the agreements reached with the FG and report back to the Ministry of Labour by Saturday, September 12.
But in the statement on Sunday, the health workers said the strike would hold as planned, noting that it was necessitated by the inability of the Federal Government to meet its demands.
The national leader of JOHESU, Biobelemoye Josiah, also confirmed the commencement of the industrial action to The PUNCH.
According to the statement, leaders of various health unions in the sector unanimously reached the decision at the end of their expanded National Executive Council.
“In the light of the above, the meeting of our expanded NEC was held Saturday 12 September, 2020. And at the end of the meeting, which was held both physically and virtually, it was unanimously agreed that since nothing concrete was achieved at the said meeting with the Federal Government, that the strike notice is still germane and alive.
“Therefore, the 15-day ultimatum still subsists and with effect from midnight of Sunday, 13th September, 2020 our members shall withdraw their services due to Federal Government’s inability to meet their demands,” the statement added.
The health workers had issued a 15-day strike notice to the Federal Government to press home their demands.
The unions in a letter addressed to the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, demanded a review of the COVID-19 special inducement and hazard allowance as well as the payment of all withheld salaries of their members, including the withheld April and May 2018 salaries.
Other demands of the unions are the adjustment of Consolidated Health Salary Structure, implementation of National Industrial Court of Nigeria consent judgment and other court judgments and an improvement in the structural and infrastructural decay in the health sector.
The letter, which was dated August 26, was jointly signed by the President and Secretary of Medical and Health Workers’ Union of Nigeria, Josiah and Matthew Ajurotu respectively, the President of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses And Midwives, Rauf Adeniji and A.A Shettima as well as the leadership of three other health unions.