The Federal Government has announced a deed with aggrieved Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) and Assembly of Healthcare Professions Association.
On September 3, the unions issued a two-week ultimatum to the government to meet their demands.
On Tuesday, Labour Minister, Chris Ngige held a five-hour conciliation meeting with the leadership of JOHESU in Abuja.
Ngige told reporters that an understanding was reached on a number of requests. A Memorandum of Understanding will be signed next week.
The parley agreed on enhancement of hazard allowance, review of retirement age from 60 to 65 years and the arrears of the consequential adjustment of the national minimum wage.
On hazard allowance, Ngige recalled that the government held four meetings with JOSEHU, Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) and their affiliates.
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He said the NMA and a union, earlier thought to be part of JOHESU, insisted on the compartmentalisation of the discussions on hazard allowance, which the government granted.
Ngige disclosed that JOHESU has been provided with the financial implication of what is due to them and they promised to inform their members and revert.
The government will next week meet the NMA for a separate discussion on hazard allowance. The sum of N37.5billion has been earmarked.
Ngige told Nigerians that the Buhari administration is not delaying the allowance as some people want the public to believe.
”Since the past six months, government has been making concerted efforts to push the new hazard allowance into effect, which we are doing now but for disagreement between NMA and JOHESU,” he said.
On retirement, Ngige said that the meeting received reports from Office of the Head of Service of Federation (HOSF) and the Ministry of Health.
He said the matter had already been handled by the HOSF’s office and transmitted to the National Council on Establishment for further processing at its meeting in December.
The meeting agreed that issues of non-implementation of allowances contained in the 2017 agreement, like consequential minimum wage adjustment and skipping, would be resolved.
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On non-adjustment of Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) as done with Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS), Ngige said the matter was at the National Industrial Court (NIC).
The minister said after a litigation by a civil society organisation, the court advised JOHESU and its employer, the Federal Ministry of Health, to deliberate.
Ngige announced that the Tuesday meeting agreed that if the discussions fail, the matter should be brought back for conciliation.
The meeting touched additional JOHESU demands such as the 30 percent of shift duty allowance to nurses and others, and payment of outstanding allowance to intern health professionals.
Others, including the payment of teaching allowance to JOHESU members on CONHESS 7 and 8, and skipping of arrears, will be handled by the Ministry of Health.
On issues affecting union members in state health institutions, the Ministry of Health has been directed to collate them for amiable resolution.Esther Solaja
posted 2021-09-08 08:59:43