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NLC urges FG to end JOHESU strike

 The NLC has urged the Federal Government to engage the services of technocrat, seasoned administrators to mediate on the on-going strike by the Joint Health…

 The NLC has urged the Federal Government to engage the services of technocrat, seasoned administrators to mediate on the on-going strike by the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU).

Dr Ayuba Waba, NLC President gave the recommendation at the ground finale of the International Nurses Week on Saturday in Abuja.

The  International Nurses Week is commemorated annually from May 6 to May 12.

The theme of this year’s event is: “Nurses: A voice to lead. Health is a human right.”

Waba identified the disparity in dealing with issues of workers’ welfare as the central point of the lingering crisis in the health sector.

“I recommend that the Federal Government should look for seasoned administrators, technocrat to mediate in the contest.

“”When neutral people, seasoned stakeholders are allowed to come in they will give the government a better recommendation.

“”Seasoned administrators abound in the civil service; they will be able to say what is right and wrong and we should be able to abide by it because going continuously in the wrong direction will take us nowhere.

“The issue is that the salary of people on the same grade level should be the same like is obtainable in the legal profession while the difference should be on professional allowances.

“We should abide by the principle of Equal Pay for Equal Value as enshrined in International Labour Convention (ILO), which Nigeria is a signatory.

“Therefore, using divide and rule tactics to hide our inadequacy cannot take us anywhere,” Waba said.

Waba, who frowned at the untold hardship caused by JOHESU strike on the masses, said that in spite of this, the government was yet to resolve the cause of the strike.

He urged the government to do everything possible to save the sector from eminent collapse.

According to him, Nigerians are really suffering the consequences of failure in our health system.

He said that facilities in most state hospitals had been overstretched, adding that they needed urgent upgrade.

“Allowing the states and local government health workers to join the strike is going to compound the already compounded situation.

“Whatever needs to be done should be at the negotiation table. NLC and TUC are ready to assist if we are call upon.

“We cannot allow the lives of our citizens, including children, to be put in jeopardy because of inability of the government to address the issue at the right time,” he said.

Speaking on the theme, he described nurses and midwives as key in quality healthcare services of the country.

Waba urged them to continue to give their best in their quest to improve the country’s healthcare delivery.

NAN reports that JOHESU began an indefinite strike on April 7.

Members said that the health workers had explored all avenues for an amicable settlement of the issues and were left with no other option.

They accused the federal government of not honouring agreements with JOHESU in 2009, 2014 and 2017.

They listed the issues that necessitated the pending industrial action to include failure to adjust CONHESS scale, skipping of CONHESS 10, and non implementation of court judgements.

Others, included same scale promotions aberration, promotions arrears yet unpaid since 2012, skewed appointment of Chief Medical Directors and Chairmen, Medical Advisory Committee, and many others. 

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