Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) has alleged that the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) is undermining the interest of its members’ demand for improved welfare conditions.
In a letter to the minister of labour and employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, JOHESU chairman, Comrade Bio Josiah, said, ‘NMA decided to stand the truth on the head by claiming that JOHESU attempted to seek pay parity at the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN) but failed in 2018’, whereas it has been working against other health workers’ welfare demands.
The letter, titled: ‘Re: Notice of 15-day Ultimatum and Commencement of an Indefinite Strike Action by JOHESU: Matters Arising,’ read in part, “The national secretariat of JOHESU has been inundated with a recent memo of the NMA to the office of the minister of labour and employment with regards to some welfare demands for our members.
“As usual, the tirades of the NMA were laden with antagonism in a scenario that epitomises unwholesome meddlesomeness of the crop of representatives who lead the NMA.
“After a careful analysis of the submissions of the NMA, we wish to submit that in a most sympathetic display of emotive theatrics, the NMA decided to stand the truth on the head by claiming that JOHESU attempted to seek pay parity at the NICN but failed in 2018. In reality, however, the representatives of NMA failed because they were too consumed in vengeance to appreciate that JOHESU was simply minding her business.
albeit lawfully by requesting the federal government to respect the spirit of its CBA with JOHESU in 2014 which compelled the government to adjust its wages anytime government adjusts the wages of the beneficiaries of the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) scale.
“This was sequel to understandings at the heart of the rules of engagement the federal government and JOHESU had in 2009 which the 2014 CBA simply amplified.
“The NMA often suggests that the golden rule in healthcare in Nigeria remains that anything it does not endorse does not exist. If the NMA suddenly says it is not aware that residency training which it has tried to frustrate in the federal health institutions exists, then JOHESU wishes to educate them that as far back as July 2015, the Federal Ministry of Health issued a residency training circular for pharmacists undergoing postgraduate training at the West Africa Postgraduate College of Pharmacists.”
He chided the NMA for claiming that there are no consultants in pharmacy. “We at JOHESU openly challenge the NMA hierarchy to show the world evidence-based data that we do not have consultants in pharmacy, nursing, radiography, physiotherapy and medical laboratory science’.
“Many of our members believe that we were short-changed in 2018 because the ministers-in-charge of health are kith and kin with the NMA dynasty as they share the same professional DNA. JOHESU leadership will give your Ministry another opportunity to clean this stinking Augean stable in the public interest…
“Today as it stands, JOHESU and the federal government are forced to go back to the negotiating table because of the rulings of the NICN,” he said.