Health workers under the aegis of the Joint Health Sectors Union (JOHESU), Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) branch, last week lamented the insensitivity of government to their demands, expressing willingness to call of the strike if the Federal Government would release the much expected circular on their demands.
Chairman, Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAI), Kehinde Adegoke, while addressing a large number of health workers bearing placards with inscriptions such as, ‘save the lives of Nigerian masses,’ ‘FG correct injustice in Nigeria health sector,’ at the premises of the hospital, said the Union was ready to shift grounds, but for insincerity on the part of those representing the Federal Government.
“Those that are negotiating on behalf of government are not sincere in the arrangement. We have been on this struggle since 2nd November 2014 and the last time we held meeting with the Federal Government which is on the 22nd December, 2014 they promised that in the next two weeks they will address our issue, it is more than two weeks now we are yet to receive any circular.”
“We know that President Jonathan is having tough time clamouring for vote, but we are urging him to ascend to our demand so as to continue in the business of saving the lives of Nigerians,” he added.
Chairman, National Association of Nurse and Mid wife, LUTH Branch, Oluwagbenga Ajala, spoke in the same vein. He however, warned that if labour disputes, which has led to the breakdown of health services in about 50 federal health institutions in the country are not addressed, the Federal Government may meet a collapsed sector after the February elections.
“We are asking that they promote our members who have been stagnated for 14 years on a level. We are asking that health workers wage structure be reviewed. We cannot be rubbished by any group in this sector because we form more than 70 per cent of the work force in the health sector.
“We are asking that the Federal Government address needless deaths in its hospitals and put an end to this strike before the elections,” he said.
JOHESU had embarked on an indefinite strike on October 16 in protest of the non-implementation of collective bargain agreement and Memorandum of Understanding it had with the Federal Government. While several dialogues have ended in deadlocks, the present political situation of the country might have dealt the union’s action a big blow, as it is not getting the required attention by both the government and Nigerians affected by the strike.