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‘Soldier Let Loose, No Retreat, No Surrender’ — Health Workers Begin Indefinite Strike

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The Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) says it has commenced its nationwide indefinite strike.

Obisesan Oluwatuyi, general secretary of the Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP), disclosed this in an interview with NAN on Wednesday in Abuja.

Oluwatuyi said the workers will not call off the strike until the government meets their demands.

He said: “The soldiers have been let loose, no retreat, no surrender until government does the needful.”

JOHESU had earlier issued a strike threat through Josiah Biobelemoye, president of the union.

Biobelemoye had attributed the industrial action to the “insensitivity and lackadaisical attitude of drivers of the health sector”.

The union’s demands include upward adjustment of CONHESS Salary Scale, arrears of skipping of CONHESS 10 and employment of additional health professionals, implementation of court judgments and upward review of retirement age from 60 to 65 years.

Biobelemoye had said: “It is disheartening to note that after six months of suspension of our last strike and still counting, the Federal Government has not done anything tangible over pending issues especially on the flagship issue of CONHESS adjustment and payment of arrears of CONHESS 10 skipping.

“JOHESU as a mature and responsible organisation gave 21 days notice on Feb. 5, this year, in the first instance to enable the Federal Government to do the needful.

“At the expiration of the 21 days notice, the leadership of JOHESU reconvened to re-appraise the situation on ground and noted the lackadaisical attitude of the government toward the implementation of the Memorandum of Terms of Settlement signed on Sept. 30.

“On April 5, 2018, the Minister of Labour and Employment invited the leadership of JOHESU for a meeting wherein we were told that our issues were still being looked into, this shows that government is taking JOHESU for a ride.”

JOHESU draws its membership from the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Medical and Health Workers Union, and Senior Staff Association of University Teaching Hospitals.

Others include Research Institutes and Associated Institutions, Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals and Non-academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutes.

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