The National Leadership of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Health Care Professional Association have issued a 15-day ultimatum to the Enugu State Government to resolve all outstanding demands of health workers in the state.
In a letter addressed to the Enugu State Government through its National Secretary, Comrade M.O Ajorutu, the union said failure of the government to comply with the directive will leave JOHESU with no other option but to embark on a national action against the Enugu State Government.
It stated that members of the union will occupy the state capital till all issues raised are resolved.
According to the union, the 15-day ultimatum which takes effect from May 3, seeks to resolve, among other issues, the full implementation (100%) of Consolidated Health Salary Structure for health workers and the full implementation of the new national minimum wage for health workers in the state.
The body also urged the Enugu State government to stop perpetual court injunctions against unions under JOHESU and stop all forms of harassment and intimidation of labour leaders in JOHESU.
The letter read, “Recall your excellency that the Joint Health Sector Unions and Assembly of Health Care Professional Association through a letter dated 28th January, 2021 with Ref. No HQ/JOHESU/ENUGU/VOL.1/015 gave a notice of 30 days to resolve all outstanding issues affecting our members in your state.
“Recall also sir, your promise via a telephone conversation with the Ag. National Secretary of JOHESU wherein you promised to resolve the issues in contention on or before March 2021 and a further promise to convene a meeting with JOHESU National Leadership and Enugu state chapter of JOHESU in attendance within the same period, a promise which your government never kept.
“Your Excellency, as at this moment, no positive response from your administration to resolve those issues had been received. We would have taken further action following your silence and inaction, but this step was not taken due to the untimely death of one of our national leadership who died in an auto-crash involving himself, his wife and daughter. The death necessitated the declaration of a mourning period.
“As a law-abiding conglomeration of Registered Trade Unions in the Health sector, we are bound by the provision of Part VI, Section 41 (I) of the Trade Dispute Act, CAP T8, 2004, Law of the Federation of Nigeria to take the necessary action if all internal instruments of Trade Dispute Resolution and social dialogue have been exhausted which we have convincingly done at the State and National level with respect to Enugu State.
“Consequently, I hereby convey to you that, the National Leadership had through unanimous resolution at a National Administrative meeting held at the JOHESU National Secretariat in Abuja between 13th and 14th April, 2021 directed that a 15-day ultimatum be issued commencing from Monday, 3rd May, 2021 for Enugu State Government to resolve all outstanding demands of health workers as stated below:
“Full implementation (100%) of Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) for health workers as was done to Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS) for medical doctors in Enugu state.
"Full implementation of the New National Minimum wage for health workers in the state. Vacate perpetual court injunctions against unions under JOHESU. Stop all forms of harassment and intimidation of labour leaders in JOHESU.
“Your excellency, the JOHESU National leadership urges you to immediately utilise the instrument of social dialogue to resolve the above-stated demands and other pressing health workers issues in the interest of industrial harmony and the good people of Enugu state.
“Failure of your excellency and the state government to meet with these demands within the 15-day ultimatum will leave the national leadership of JOHESU with no other option but to mobilise and utilise all powers within her reach as required by the extant labour laws and the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 as amended to embark on a national action against the Enugu State Government, including the occupation of the state capital until these demands are met.”