The Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) says it will commence an indefinite strike by 12 midnight today (Feb. 17) if the Federal Government failed to meet members’ demands.
The National President of the Medical and Health Workers Union who also doubled as JOHESU National Chairman, Mr Biobebelemoye Josiah, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja.
Josiah explained that members are demanding for improved working conditions, including the implementation of skipping of Grade Level 10.
According to him, JOHESU is asking for adjustment of the 2009 CONHESS salary table and allowances as was done for the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in January 2014.
He described government insensitivity to the demands as “provocative, insulting and unjust in the worst dimension in a democratic dispensation”.
Josiah lamented that members of the union were being subjected to discrimination and industrial marginalisation in the health sector in favour of NMA members.
On the issue of skipping of Grade level 10, he noted that rather than paying them the money government went ahead to pay medical doctors which he claimed were not entitle to such allowance by law.
Josiah also explained that the court ruled in their favour that they should be paid, adding that government failed to respect the court injunction.
However, Josiah called on the federal government to give priority attention and capture the financial implication of the demands in this year’s health sector budget.
According to him, JOHESU comprised more than 99 per cent of service deliverance in the health system, noting that government failure to meet the demands would have negative impact on the country’s healthcare delivery.
“JOHESU members and doctors are treated differently, even when it is not the right of doctors to earn specific pay they accord them the pay which is part of the problems we are passing through.
“This now brings disharmony because there is no fair administration of the health system which is part of the things that is causing disharmony and turbulence in the system, to avoid that the President should change such act,” he said.
NAN reports that JOHESU is an umbrella body of all professional and non-professional health workers, excluding medical doctors.