AS the strike embarked upon by its members bites harder, the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) Tuesday gave fresh insights into why the strike won’t be called off, thereby calling for understanding of members of the public. Chairman of JOHESU, Ayuba Wabba, who briefed journalists after a meeting of the union with its affiliate bodies in Abuja, accused the Federal Government of failing to implement any of the rulings from the National Industrial Court in favour of its members, saying: “Where circulars were issued by the federal Ministry of Health, the various federal institutions have flagrantly disobeyed such directives without proper sanction from the ministry, which is a case of the tail wagging the dog.”
He categorised the main demands of the union into three: unconditional and immediate implementation of all collective bargaining agreement and Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) signed with JOHESU; full implementation of all judgments in favour of JOHESU by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria; and the implementation of all outstanding demands. Meanwhile, the Supervising Minister of Health, Khaliru Alhassan, yesterday alerted on how the current strike by health workers had further made Nigeria vulnerable to another possible outbreak of Ebola disease.
The minister, who spoke with journalists in Abuja yesterday, appealed to the workers to return to work, saying that government had done its own part of the bargain. He said: “We are therefore appealing to members of the JOHESU to come back while we continue to negotiate. For them to leave their place of work is putting a lot of stress on the system and especially on our war against Ebola. JOHESU has a lot of role to play as members of the health team in the prevention of further outbreak of Ebola. “Keeping away from their duty post is putting Nigeria at risk. We should have the interest of Nigeria in our minds.”