The Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), while accusing the Federal Government of bias against its members, has insisted on embarking on an industrial action beginning from midnight.
Responding to questions on AIT News Sunday night, the JOHESU Chairman, Biobelemoye Josiah, said that the Federal Government refused to meet the union’s demands, hence, they have not option than to down tools.
He reiterated that the government showed bias by meeting the demands of medical doctors and refusing to meet the demand of his group.
“The government refused to heed to our demands, so there is no alternative than to give them 15-days ultimatum. This is because the patient dog no more get the fattest born, it ends up without a borne. This is because those who went on strike even on the heat of the Covid-19, they were called and their demands were met.
“Again, that was not satisfactory, the NMA FCT embarked on strike and the government met with them to see how they will meet their demands.
“But for us, we earlier gave them 15 issues and we have reduced them to 5 and out of the five they have not done anything tangible in the meeting of the July 10th.
“We could see the clear exhibition of the bias when we attended the meeting, the first thing was to start with a threat and so we have said we are ready to take that threat to the end.
“Therefore, as the NEC concluded, we have directed our members that the strike commence midnight today. By tomorrow, strike will duly commence.
“We are also expecting that as further exhibition of bias- that is the federal ministry of labour and health which are exhibiting the highest level of bias will not want to settle the issues properly rather as they tried to intimidate us, we know they will go further to hire some mercenaries in the name of NGOs to go court to take some court orders, but that is not going to deter us.
“But I have told the minister and all my members in the NEC have said that we are all ready to go to prison if this bias or apartheid in the health industry will not end. And so, going to prison will be a small sacrifice to end the apartheid in the health sector.”
Responding to a questions on whether some of their demands have been met, the JOHESU chairman said: “In practical terms, the government have not met any of our demands.
“They COVID-19 allowance that we entered agreement with the government, paragraph one (a) and (b) was explicit- it said- ‘for any one that was earning five thousand, replace that with 15 per cent, that they fail to do.
On July 1st, we met with them at the ministry of health, the two ministers with the permanent secretary were there, they all agreed that there was an error and that the error need to be corrected. They said we should submit the list of those that have been short paid within 24 hours.
“Maybe they thought we cannot be able to meet the time line, even though we told them that it was not our responsibility to do that because when they ask us to do such thing, they later told us that they cannot rely on the submission of the union.
“However, within 24 hours, we were able to submit all they required. They could not meet the condition till July 10, even when they agree that they will issue a circular, they have issued the circular and we got information that they have followed with another text behind trying exempt some of the people. That is the highest level of insincerity.”