Health workers, under the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), have embarked on a 7 day strike today, Monday 14th. The union had earlier warned of an impending strike action, to protest of poor funding and infrastructural decay in the health sector.
This was announced yesterday, in a tweet by the official handle of the Union. The union said it had exhausted all alternative measures before declaring strike.
This is the second major strike by health workers in Nigeria in 2020. In June, Members of the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD),embarked on an indefinite nationwide strike, over non-payment of special allowances for the resident doctors, deplorable state of hospitals, and lack of protective equipment for members of the union treating COVID-19 patients, leading to the death of some doctors in recent times.
By July, the FG announced payment of N15.8 billion hazard allowance to medical doctors in teaching hospitals, and primary healthcare centers across the country.
JOHESU said the strike action is to, “press home our demands, including poor funding and infrastructural decay in health sector, discriminatory policies and favoritism, poor welfare of our members,”
“owing backlog of salaries, and allowance of our members among other things. Nigerians should take note, we have exhausted all alternative means of dispute resolution, before declaring this warning strike. Failure to respond to our demands will result in indefinite strike action.”
The Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, warned that the strike action during a pandemic, ” is inimical to an equable settlement of the dispute, bearing in mind especially that this is a grave period of a pandemic, where the Federal Government has spent about N20 billion to pay April/May, and an additional N8.9 billion for June 2020 on COVID-19 hazard and inducement allowances, respectively, to all categories of health workers that are mainly JOHESU members.”