HealthLabourFederal Government Agrees On Demands Of Health Workers

ABUJA — Nigeria Labour Minister, Chris Ngige has announced that the Federal Government has reached a deal with aggrieved Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Healthcare Professions Association.

On September 3, the unions issued a two weeks ultimatim to the government to meet their demands.

The meeting agreed that issues of non-implementation of allowances contained in the 2017 agreement, like consequential minimum wage adjustment and skipping would be resolved.

The meeting touched on additional JOHESU demands such as the 30 percent of shift duty allowance to nurses and others, and payment of outstanding allowance to intern health professionals.

Others, including the payment of teaching allowance to JOHESU members on CONHESS 7 and 8, and skipping of arrears, will be handled by the Ministry of Health.

Ngige held a five-hour conciliation meeting with the leadership of JOHESU in Abuja, afterward, he told reporters that an understanding was reached on a number of requests and a Memorandum of Understanding will be signed next week.

The parley agreed on enhancement of hazard allowance, review of retirement age from 60 to 65 years, and the arrears of the consequential adjustment of the national minimum wage.

“Since the past six months, the government has been making concerted efforts to push the new hazard allowance into effect, which we are doing now but for disagreement between NMA and JOHESU,” he said.

The Minister disclosed that JOHESU has been provided with the financial implication of what is due to them and they promised to inform their members and revert.

He said government will next week meet the NMA for a separate discussion on hazard allowance and the sum of N37.5billion has been earmarked.

Ngige told Nigerians that the Buhari administration is not delaying the allowance as some people want the public to believe.

Speaking on retirement, the Minister said that the meeting received reports from Office of the Head of Service of Federation (HOSF) and the Ministry of Health, adding that the HOSF’s office will transmit it to the National Council on Establishment for further processing at its meeting in December.

He said the matter of non-adjustment of Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) as done with Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS), was at the National Industrial Court (NIC).

The minister said the court advised JOHESU and its employer, the Federal Ministry of Health, to deliberate and announced that the Tuesday meeting agreed that if the discussions fail, the matter should be brought back for conciliation.

On issues affecting union members in state health institutions, the Ministry of Health has been directed to collate them for amicable resolution.

Hassan Umar Shallpella (Regional Correspondent)
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