Hold FG Responsible For Deaths During Strike – JOHESU Tells Nigerians
The Joint Health Sector Union, (JOHESU), has vowed not to return to work until their demands are met. This was made known by the National Chairman, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, (federal health institutions sector), Wale Olatunde, to newsmen in Lagos.
The union reiterated their commitment to the health of Nigerians, but also stated that the caregiver also needed care, adding that Nigerians should hold the Federal Government, particularly, the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole responsible for any death recorded during the strike period.
Olatunde said, “Nobody is happy abandoning our patients. The essence of our training is to care for our patients but we also require care.”
“These issues we are talking about started in 2009. We had an agreement with the Federal Government in 2014, it was jettisoned. We went on a 10-day strike in September last year where we signed another agreement with the Federal Government.”
“But the Minister of Health, Professor Isaac Adewole came out to say there was no agreement between JOHESU and the government until we brought out papers signed by the parties involved. That goes to show the insincerity on the part of government.”
“This country is boiling. The health industry is comatose and in disarray. The minister has the effrontery to arrange a jamboree of 40 people to go and spend 350 million naira in Geneva, Switzerland. Does that look reasonable or does he look like somebody that has the interest of the people at heart.?
“The Minister of Health does not go to the public hospital for treatment. They should be sympathetic with the common man on the street; that is exactly what we are clamouring for.”
“We are telling government to give us what rightly belong to us and we will resume work the next two hours.”
Olatunde lamented how unfortunate it is that the government reviewed the salary of some health workers twice in the last few years while that of the union remain unattended to.
“We are not asking for a new salary table but we are saying adjust in line with what you have adjusted for others. But rather for them to face that reality, they begin to tell people that we are asking for equality with doctors.”
“Is level eight the same thing as level 12? If l am able to rise to level 12, l should enjoy the benefits of level 12. All professors in the university earn the same salary; it doesn’t matter your discipline.”
“The Wages and Salary Commission that is saddled with the responsibility of salary structure has once confirmed that what we are demanding is reasonable, but the Federal Ministry of Health said it was not satisfied. We are not begging for it because it is what rightly belongs to us.” he stated
NIGERIA NEWS reported that in the five weeks the industrial action has lasted, the JOHESU and the Federal Ministry of Health have met six times but failed to reach a peaceful resolution on the trade disputes.