Ehanire: Health Minister urges JOHESU to suspend warning strike, pledges negotiations over demands

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The Minister of Health, Osagie Ehanire, on Monday, September 14, has appealed to the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) to suspend the one-week warning strike nationwide.

Ehanire made the appeal during the briefing of the Presidential Task Force (PTF)on COVID-19 in Abuja.

“I use this opportunity to appeal to JOHESU to suspend their strike and go into a negotiation.

“The position of the Ministry of Health is that strikes by healthcare workers jeopardise the lives of citizens, especially at such times of global health emergencies as now.

“Nigeria needs the service of all our health workers to control the spread of COVID-19. Issues around allowances are multi-sectoral and have always been served with negotiations no matter how long it took,” Ehanire pleaded.

1st News reports that the minister’s plea had come hours after JOHESU President, Dr. Biobelomoye Josiah, asked the federal government to attend to its demands with the same seriousness it accorded that of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD).

NARD downed tools over the same issues but called it off days after coming to an agreement with federal government representatives.

JOHESU, which is the umbrella body of health workers’ unions and associations in the country, said its demands merited such urgent attention, too.

Meanwhile, Mrs Funmi Sessi, the Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Lagos State chapter, on Monday, September 14, urged the state government to implement payment of the new national minimum wage for tertiary institutions workers.

Sessi made the plea in an interview; during the protest of academic and non-academic unions of the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo.

The protesting unions include Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU); Non-Academic Staff of Educational; and Associated Institutions (NASU); as well as Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU).

1st News had reported President Muhammadu Buhari had assented to the payment of N30,000; as the new National Minimum Wage Bill, which became law on April 18, 2019.

Sessi said that the state government as owner of the institutions; should not be sectional to their workers.

“Other state workers have been enjoying their minimum wage since last year. Until they do certain things at all tertiary institutions in the state, we will not agree.

“NLC at the national levels is behind the decisions of the unions; and they will not accept the delay of the implementation of the minimum wage,” Sessi said.

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