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JOHESU strike: No end in sight as FG rejects demand of health workers

Isaac Adewole, minister of health, says the demand of officials of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) to be at par with doctors in terms of salary is neither practicable nor acceptable.

Disclosing this in a statement on Monday, Adewole said the current administrationt has offered to adjust the salaries and wages of the health workers.

He was reacting to the advertorial by JOHESU in some national dailies.

“As a responsible government, we will do everything within our power to bring the ongoing strike action to an end as quickly as possible,” read a statement Olajide Oshundun, health ministry assistant director of information, issued on Adewole’s behalf.

“Indeed, the federal government has put machinery in place to ensure that the strike is called off by meeting with JOHESU officials on several occasions.

“But what JOHESU is asking for is parity with medical doctors which is neither practicable nor acceptable to the federal government.”

Adewole said the current strike action by the unions is unfortunate and that the health, adding that well-being of many Nigerians had been affected.

The minister also denied that there was an agreement between the federal government and JOHESU prior to the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said what the union brandished as a 2014 agreement with the federal government were minutes of meetings they had with some organs of government.

Adewole added that out of the 15 demands presented by JOHESU in September 2017, the government has implemented 14 while the last demand was “being attended to.”

“The administration of President Muhammadu Buhari will not renege on any agreement entered into with any labour organisation including JOHESU,’’ he said.

The minister, therefore, appealed to the unions to “immediately call off the strike” and allow for the conclusion of the assignment given to a panel regarding the 2017 agreement.