Health workers under the aegis of Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) have insisted on going ahead with their industrial action despite federal government’s threat of no-work no-pay rule.
The Union also said it would not also succumb to blackmail and intimidation by the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), a rival union.
LEADERSHIP Weekend recalls that JOHESU, a union for all other health workers apart from medical doctors and dentists, had called out its members on strike on Tuesday night, saying federal government had reneged on an agreement on pay rise and better working conditions the two parties reached six months ago.
Addressing journalists in Abuja yesterday, JOHESU president, Comrade Biobelemoye Joy Josiah, said JOHESU was bemused when its attention was drawn to a circular from the Ministry of Health in which the government threatened to open an attendance register during the strike so as to enforce a no-work-no-pay policy.
He called on members of the union nationwide to disregard all forms of threat or intimidation from government and ensure that services are withdrawn until their demands are met.
He said, “We wish to draw the attention of President Muhammadu Buhari and the general public to the discriminatory, suppressive and oppressive attitude of the drivers of the health sector to all health workers, other than medical doctors, in managing health care delivery in Nigeria.
“We call on government to ensure equity and justice in the health sector instead of putting the health of Nigerians in jeopardy by resolving the issues on the table rather than churning out threatening circulars on registers, Locum and “No work No Pay” that have no universal application, as a diversionary tactics.
“We want the public to know that what is playing out appears to be a situation where NMA and Association Resident Doctors (ARD) on the one hand and government on the other have gone into an unholy alliance to fight against other health workers’ rights, even in a situation where doctors and other health workers remain the employees of the same government.
“We implore government to make every effort to make the strike short-lived in the interest of the poor and vulnerable Nigerians and not engage in activities that will further infuriate health workers and exacerbate an already bad situation.”
JOHESU added that it had already directed other health workers in the states and local governments to mobilise and join in the strike nationwide if government allowed the strike to linger for the next two weeks.
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