The Joint Health Sector Unions and Assembly of Health Care Professionals has presented a letter to Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state, stating reasons for the scheduled April 17, 2018 strike action.
The union in the letter appealed to the governor to help present its cries to President Muhammadu Buhari for urgent intervention.
The letter addressed to Governor El-Rufai and presented to the Commissioner of health, Dr. Paul M. Dogo for onward submission stated that from 2009 to date, the union has entered into several agreements with government out of which only very few have been implemented.
The letter as signed by the national chairman and secretary of JOHESU, Comrade Biobelemoye Joy Josiah and Comrade Florence Ekpebor respectively stated that the latest agreement signed on September 30, 2017 contained adjustment of CONHESS Salary structure and Payment of arrears of CONHESS 10 skipping among other demands.
“On the issue of CONHESS adjustment which we regard as the core of our demands, government in 2014 granted CONMESS adjustment to medical doctors and immediately paid the accruing cash benefits and arrears. CONHESS review is the upward adjustment of the CONHESS salary table in-line with the same principle used in adjusting the CONMESS table for medical doctors,”
“Our own demand for the adjustment of CONHESS that affects about 95percent of the health workforce have been frustrated and part of the reason for this is that the Minister of health and Minister of state for health are medical doctors while the minister of labour and employment who should be a neutral umpire in trade dispute is equally a medical doctor.
"They therefore feel unconcerned on matters of welfare of other health care providers. We have an agreement dated 30th September, 2017 and the minister of health said he needs five weeks to get the approval of President Buhari, six months after, we are yet to hear from him,” he said.
JOHESU therefore demanded justice, saying, the September 30th 2017 agreement freely entered into by the government be implemented in-line with the legal maxim ‘Pacta Sunt servada’ which means agreement must be kept.
“We will therefore be grateful if your Excellency takes a copy of the signed agreement to Mr. President for his kind and fatherly approval as the Minister has constantly told us that the memo on CONHESS adjustment as contained in the signed agreement has been on Mr. President’s table for approval since December 9, 2017. Once this is done, our planned strike action slated for April 17, 2018 will be jettisoned and the lives and welfare of our people will continually be guaranteed,” the letter reads in part.
Receiving the letter on behalf of Kaduna state commissioner of health, the permanent secretary of the ministry, Shehu Usman Muhammad described as an honour to choose Governor El-Rufai among others to present their cries to President Buhari. “We are willing messengers and we will deliver your message to the governor with our strong recommendations.