• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Industrial crisis looms in Akwa Ibom as health workers threaten strike

Nigeria doctor

There are strong indications that the health sector in Akwa Ibom might be thrown into crisis as workers have threatened to go on strike over unresolved issues.

Under the aegis of Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU), they have declared a three-day warning strike effective Wednesday, 1st July.

The decision which was reached today comes as the 15-day ultimatum earlier issued to the state government by the unions expires today, 30th June.

Prominent among the demand of the health workers is the inability of the state government to implement the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) in payment of health workers’ salaries in the state.

Read Also: https://businessday.ng/news/article/abia-health-workers-demand-payment-of-backlog-of-salary-arrears-allowances/

Also, the health workers are irked by the sacking of their members in the local government and the refusal of the state government to recall them despite repeated appeals.

However,  the strike exempts their colleagues working in the coronavirus isolation centres in the state.

The Unions had in a statement jointly signed by the chairman of the state chapter of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives  Patrick Odu, the chairman of the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, Godwin Archibong and the chairman of the Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals, Aniebiet Abasi Obot, decried government’s insensitivity to the plights of health workers in the state.

The unions also wanted the state government to release the circular for the implementation of the already agreed 80 percent of the national consolidated health salary structure (CONHESS), as well as a review of the health hazards, allowance to the minimum of 50% of their salaries, describing the present allowance of N3,500 as the least in the country.

They further called for the recruitment of more health workers to augment the shortfall as a result by death and retirement, warning that if the above demands are not met, they would have no option than to embark on an indefinite strike beginning from June 30, 2020.

“We condemn in strong terms government’s insensitivity to the plights of the health workers who are the least paid in the country by refusing to implement the consolidated health salary structure (CONHESS).

“We called on Akwa Ibom State government to release without delay the circular for the implementation of the already agreed 80 percent of the national consolidated health salary structure by the sub-committee on the implementation of CONHESS in Akwa Ibom State since Thursday, February,20,2020.

“The Unions, therefore, demand the immediate reinstatement of the sacked 720 local government workers, which the majority were health workers.

“JOHESU in the state is left with no alternative whatsoever than to give Akwa Ibom State 15 days ultimatum beginning from Monday, June,15,2020 to accede to the above legitimate demands, a failure which an indefinite industrial action would commence on 12noon Tuesday,30, June 2020”.