JOHESU suspends strike notice, issues FG 15-day ultimatum

NEWS DIGEST – The strike notice issued by the Joint Health Sectors Unions and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations has been suspended.

The decision to suspend the strike was contained in a communique signed by the acting Secretary General, JOHESU, Chief Mathew Ajorutu, at the end of an expanded National Executive Council meeting of JOHESU and AHPA on Friday night.

The unions gave the Federal Government 15-day window to meet its demands.

The strike was expected to commence with effect from 12am Saturday, September 18, 2021.

The unions said its decision to suspend the strike was based on the need to give the Federal Government time to respond to its demands following a September 7th, 2021 meeting with the government led by Labour and Employment Minister, Senator Chris Ngige.

It therefore urged the government to reciprocate the “patriotic humanitarian gesture of JOHESU in the interest of the larger Nigerian masses to expeditiously resolve all the demands within the 15-day window.”

The unions had on September 2 threatened to embark on strike over unmet demands and also issued a 15-day ultimatum to the FG.

Arising from the emergency meeting, the unions admonished the Federal Government to expedite action and fulfil their demands within 15 days.

The expanded NEC comprised the presidents and general secretaries of affiliate unions and professional associations, NEC members of affiliate unions and JOHESU chairmen and secretaries at the state and branch levels.

The NEC-in-session said it critically appraised the reports of JOHESU negotiation and conciliation meetings with FG since the declaration of the trade dispute through the 15-day strike notice issued on September 2.

The NEC also noted the appeal from President Muhammadu Buhari on the need to show understanding with his administration and his pledge to pay any debt owed health workers.

It further said it received and examined reports of congresses held at various health facilities across the country on the mobilisation for the strike action.

The communique read in part: “NEC-in-session after long hours of exhaustive of deliberations on issues surrounding the planned strike action resolved as follows:

“The Federal Ministry of Health should ensure speedy circularisation of all establishment and welfare matters as agreed during negotiation meetings.

“The Federal Government should ensure that the new data for the computation of the adjusted Consolidated Health Salary Structure for JOHESU members be completed and submitted to the ‘high level body’ of the FG not later than Wednesday, 22nd September, 2021 as agreed.

“NEC-in-Session urges the Federal Government to ensure that the ‘high level body’ complete and submit the computation of the adjusted CONHESS for inclusion in the 2022 budget within the 30th September, 2021 submission window.

“Finally, NEC-in-session unanimously adopts a resolution to step down the notice of strike action due to expire mid-night 17th September, 2021 and issue a fresh notice of 15 days,” the unions said.