FG, JOHESU Sign Another MOU After Reaching A Consensus

The Federal Government, and members of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), an association of healthcare professionals, have reached an agreement to resolve some germane issues bothering on the healthcare sector of the country.

 

In a meeting with members of JOHESU, and other assembly of healthcare practitioners, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, told media men, after a 5 (five) hour meeting, held in Abuja on Tuesday, that the FG has reached an agreement with medical personnel, and so, a memorandum of understanding would be signed by next week to that effect.

 

Recall that, JOHESU had, on September 3, issued a 15-day ultimatum to the FG, to meet their demands or risk health workers going on strike.

Ngige said, FG and JOHESU, reached a consensus on all issues in dispute.

He however, highlighted some of the matters discussed during the meeting; which include: matters bothering on hazard allowance, review of retirement age from 60 to 65 years, arrears relating to adjustment on the new national minimum wage and some other related matters.

 

The Minister of Labour and Employment added that, an agreement was also reached on the upward adjustment of the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) for health workers, as done with Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS).

 

Chris Ngige confirmed that,

“On the other hand, government is meeting with the Nigerian Medical Association, (NMA), next week, for their separate discussion on hazard allowance.

He said, “Already, the FG has budgeted the sum of ₦37.5 billion for this; adding that, “The government is not delaying the hazard allowance as some people want the public to believe.

 

Minster Ngige, who believed that, ‘The issue was resolved to the satisfaction of all of us’, also said,

“Since the past six months, 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.”

 

The Labour and Employment Minister again, revealed that, the proposal from 60 to 65 years, as the retirement age, desire by health workers in the country, has been granted by the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation and the Ministry of Health.

 

Ngige also submitted that, JOHESU is expected to meet with the Ministry of Health on Thursday, to draw up a framework for the implementation of all the matters raised at the meeting; but he appealed to the Union to consider the present state of the economy.

 

“We will be ready to address all the issues. But we agreed that, as a result of the perilous state of economy, the principle of capacity to pay will guide all our discussions”

 

President of JOHESU, Josiah Biobelemonye, in his remarks, said he is positive that all issues raised by the Union, would be thoroughly considered by the FG, because according to him, ‘strike is not the way to go.’

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