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COVID-19: Health workers to embark on warning strike

Eight doctors contract COVID-19 in Zamfara

The leadership of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) said on Monday it would commence a nationwide warning strike over Federal Government’s failure to meet the union’s outstanding demands with effect from September 13.

The Chairman of JOHESU, Mr. Biobelemoye Josiah, who stated this at a news conference in Abuja, listed the alleged shortchanging of the union in the payment of COVID-19 Special Inducement and Hazard Allowance (SIHA) to frontline health workers, as part of the union’s demands.

He said: “It becomes imperative to inform you that if the federal government does not meet these demands by midnight of September 13, JOHESU will have no choice than to commence a nationwide seven days warning strike.

“The strike will include our members in all the Federal Health Institutions (FHIs), states and Local Government health institutions.”

According to him, JOHESU was forced to draw attention to the deliberate short-changing of its members in the payment of COVID-19 inducement allowances.

Josiah added: “The Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH) ought to redress and supervise the adherence to the payment of 40 percent or 50 percent COVID-19 SIHA as appropriate to all health workers in Isolation Centres, FHIs and other related health facilities.

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“This is without discrimination bordering on clinical or non-clinical status based on our Memorandum of Understanding of April 21 and as admitted by the FMoH at a meeting of July 1 that the payment of 10 percent was done in error.

“Consequently, FMoH agreed to correct the anomaly and pay the outstanding balance of 40 per cent of Consolidated Basic Salary to all the beneficiaries hitherto earning N5,000 as hazard allowance.

“The federal government did not ensure total and full implementation of the July 1 agreement with JOHESU when it disbursed the third tranche of the allowance for June.

“This has created grumbling across our membership and the challenge of assuaging the affected and restive members.

“The situation has made it impossible to guarantee industrial harmony within the generality of JOHESU members.”

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