• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Health organisation calls for implementation of adjusted CONHESS, other pending demands

Nigerian Healthcare Excellence Award

The Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Healthcare Professional Associations (AHPA) have appealed to the Federal Government to ensure implementation of adjusted Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS), threatened to embark on industrial action if government fails to comply.

This was contained in a letter addressed to the Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, by the acting National Secretary of JOHESU/AHPA, M. O. Ajorutu.

The letter revealed how JOHESU/AHPA had directed its states and FHIs chapters as well as the NEC to begin consultations geared towards mobilising its members to give the federal government ultimatum to call its workers out on a strike action within the first quarter of 2023 if the government failed to meet up with their demands.

The letter which was also copied to the director general department of State Security Service, Abuja also called for the payment of withheld salaries for FMC Owerri, JUTH and LUTH.

It however, reads: “It is pertinent we draw the attention of the minister of health to the reality that despite the payment of withheld April and May, 2018 salaries for JOHESU members, some withheld salaries of our members in Federal Medical Centre, Owerri, Jos University Teaching Hospital and Lagos University Teaching Hospital who had challenges with their management are still unpaid.

“This development is worrisome as it continues to generate entropy in those facilities.

“Payment of omitted hazard inducement allowance 2022: JOHESU/AHPA once again draws the attention of the health minister to the omission of its members in few health facilities during the payment of COVID-19 Hazard Inducement Allowance in 2020.

“JOHESU had written several letters to the federal ministry of health in this regards without positive response till date. Payment of outstanding four months of hazard allowance. We find it necessary to remind the federal government that hazard allowance were approved after months of negotiation for a total of thirteen months. While nine out of thirteen months have been paid, we request the immediate payment of the outstanding four months which are pending.’’

Expressing concern over the general review of all health workers on the CONHESS and the CONMESS by the Federal Government which the organisation observed is generating anxiety, JOHESU/AHPA said: “This effort might jeopardise the pre January 2, 2014 relativity in the wages of workers on the CONHESS and CONMESS because there have been adjustment at least on three occasions on the CONMESS without a corresponding increase contrary to the 2014 Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) between the Federal Government and JOHESU

“We therefore, demand that any salary review of health workers should take cognisance of factoring the three increments on CONMESS which we were not privileged to enjoy for sake of justice and equity.

“The JOHESU/AHPA notes with dissatisfaction the non-inclusion of its members on the job evaluation committee which are presently visiting the FHIs on a zonal basis. It is apparent that the job evaluation exercise is at the heart of the on-going salary review of health workers by the federal government.

“In 2019 the consent judgment of the NICN, Abuja, provided that members of JOHESU/AHPA should be entrenched as members of the job evaluation committees anytime they visit the FHIs. This order of the NICN is apparently being violated in the current disposition of the FMoH.’’

However, the organisation stressed the need for FMoH to invite members of JOHESU/AHPA as part of the job evaluation committees, which it said is currently traversing the FHIs across the country.

On the other, the group urged the minister of health to facilitate the implementation of the increase in retirement age of health workers from 60 to 65 years and that of healthcare professional consultants to be increased to 70 years, adding: “This is format in the education sector where all Federal Tertiary Health Institutions (FTHIs) are affiliated to and should be regularised to enhance delivery and retention of experienced hands to the trending brain drain in the health sector.”