Opinion

JOHESU kicks against NARD’s N4bn allowance

The Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) has expressed displeasure over the N4 billion approved by the Federal Government to address the allowances of National Association of Residence Doctors’ (NARD) while its demands had been left unattended to due to paucity of funds.

In two separate letters dated June 15, 2020, and addressed to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, sighted by newsmen in Abuja, the union accused the federal government of treating its members as second class citizens.

The letters, which were jointly signed by the Chairman and Acting Secretary of JOHESU, Biobelemoye Josiah and Matthew Ajorutu, respectively and copied to the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF) and the Minister of Health, JOHESU said government’s plea for understanding due to paucity of funds could no longer be accepted by its members.

The unions called on government to without delay, implement the initial agreement it reached with health workers in regards to their allowances, especially the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) dated 21st April, 2020, emphasising that the unions would no longer guarantee industrial peace in the health sector.

The letters reads in part: “We are constrained to inform you that JOHESU can no longer wait till after the COVID-19 pandemic before the withheld salaries and adjustment of CONHESS that has lingered since 2014 could be paid.

“Our constrain is borne out of the approval of N4 bilIion for the payment of 2017 allowances to NARD while JOHESU members genuine demand for upward adjustment of CONHESS and payment of withheld salaries were not given considerable ears under the premise of lack of money is no longer sellable to our members.

“The Federal Government approval of N4 billion to meet NARD demands has further made naked the classification of JOHESU as second class citizens and this singular action has further put JOHESU leadership under extreme and intense pressure from our members.

“The elasticity of our members is at the breakpoint and we can no longer guarantee industrial peace and harmony in the health sector, because our members are restive since the Federal Government approval to NARD.

“Arising from the foregoing, the issues put on hold until post-COVID-19 pandemic is no longer tenable nor sellable to our restive members in the face of glaring discrimination by the Federal Ministry of Health, which always plead with JOHESU for understanding due to paucity of funds.”

 

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