The Federal Government plans to reexamine its prior agreement with the Joint Health Sector Unions and Assembly of Healthcare Professionals (JOHESU), with a significant concern being the unresolved salary adjustment for health workers under CONHESS, despite prior approval.
This decision was announced by Mr. Simon Lalong, the Minister of Labour and Employment, during a meeting with JOHESU members led by Mr. Olumide Akintayo in Abuja on Thursday, as reported by the News Agency of Nigeria.
Mr. Lalong expressed his commitment to addressing the issues at hand and ensuring a mutually satisfactory resolution. He assured JOHESU that the Ministry would take the necessary steps to achieve this.
- “I want to assure JOHESU that the ministry would do the needful, and deploy every necessary effort to see to the amicable and satisfactory resolution of the issues,” he said.
JOHESU’s mission and key concerns during the visit
Mr. Olumide Akintayo, the leader of the JOHESU delegation, explained that their visit aimed to extend congratulations to the Minister and seek his understanding and support in implementing various agreements reached with the federal government.
One prominent issue highlighted was the pending salary adjustment for health workers under the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS), which has remained unimplemented despite approval.
Akintayo urged the Minister, who serves as the Chief Conciliator, to prompt the Presidential Committee on Salaries to take immediate action to enforce the adjustment.
He emphasized JOHESU’s commitment to resolving matters through negotiation rather than resorting to strikes, emphasizing their dedication to maintaining industrial harmony.
Recall that on September 8, 2021, the former Minister of Labour, Chris Ngige, announced that both sides had reached an understanding on various contentious issues, including hazard allowances, the review of retirement age, and arrears related to the new national minimum wage.
Additionally, there was an agreement on the upward adjustment of the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS), similar to the Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS).
Ngige mentioned that they had presented the financial implications to JOHESU, and further discussions were pending with their members.