Health workers declare nationwide strike

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The Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU), the umbrella body for health workers in the country, has declared a nationwide strike.

In a statement on Sunday, Biobelemoye Josiah, national leader of the unions, asked JOHESU members to withdraw medical services.

On Friday, the leadership of the health workers met with the federal government over the planned industrial action.

But no definite commitment was made as the unions requested to consult with their members before taking any stance

But on Sunday, they said they were going ahead with the strike because the federal government had refused to meet their demands.

“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,” the statement read.

“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 unions are demanding 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 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 development comes a few days after the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) suspended its nationwide strike.

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