The Joint Health Workers Union (JOHESU) has suspended its nationwide strike. The union has therefore directed all members to resume work on Monday, June 4, 2018.
The directive was contained in a communiqué issued at the end of the National Executive Council meeting of JOHESU and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations in Abuja.
The union while maintaining that the strike was not political but based on the principle of fairness and justice, added that the decision to call off the strike followed the intervention of the president National Industrial Court (NIC), Justice Babatunde Adejumo, who took over the process between the health workers and the Federal Government.
JOHESU said, “Following a series of meetings with eight members of the Federal Government team under the auspices of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, the Federal Ministry of Health and other agencies of government such as the Office of the Secretary to the Government of the Federation,
Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation, Federal Ministry of Finance, National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Department of State Security Services and others,
we note with dismay the insincerity and unseriousness exhibited at the negotiation table by the government negotiating team which led to the breakdown of further negotiations and unnecessarily prolonged the strike.”
The union thanked the Kano State Governor, Abdullahi Ganduje, as well was the governments of Lagos, Gombe, Yobe, Delta, Bauchi and Edo for being proactive in addressing the labour concerns of JOHESU.
It asked its members to remain law abiding in the face of the several threat letters and circulars from the Ministry of Health and managements of hospitals across the country.
The communiqué reads in part, “The various gains from the meetings with the Senate President, Bukola Saraki, were presented to the NEC of JOHESU, after exhaustive deliberations and discussions,
the NEC in session approved that the six-week old strike be suspended this day Thursday, May 31, 2018 because of the sympathy the unions have for the suffering Nigerian masses and also to pave way for further negotiations to continue on Monday, June 4, 2018.”
The Daily Times recalls that the health workers had embarked on strike in April, accusing the Federal Government of failing to honour terms of agreements it reached with JOHESU since 2009, especially the agreement reached on September 30, 2017, which had a time frame of five weeks.
As part of efforts to end the lingering strike which has pitched JOHESU against the Nigeriaj Medical Association (NMA), the Senate President held a meeting on Monday with JOHESU’s and the Minister of Labour, Productivity and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige and Minister of Health, Prof Issac Adewole, on Friday morning.
Since the meeting, the Senate President hinted that some progress had been made to bring the strike to an end as reports suggested that the Federal Government has made a better offer to the union.
He said, “If it is true that government has improved on its offers to JOHESU, it will be desirable for the health workers to also stretch out a hand of fellowship – in good faith – to meet the government mid-way and accept the offer,
so that we can finally resolve this matter and have a win-win situation for the union, the government and the Nigerian people who make use of our public health institutions.”
Saraki’s meeting with the striking workers followed the resolution on May 15, 2018, to intervene in the crisis which it observed could hamper Nigeria’s ability to prevent or react to another Ebola virus outbreak in Nigeria