The federal government is to review the agreement it entered into with the Joint Health Sector Unions and Assembly of Healthcare Professionals (JOHESU).
Simon Lalong, Minister of Labour and Employment, said this when he received members of JOHESU, led by Olumide Akintayo, in his office onThursday in Abuja.
“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.
Earlier, Mr Akintayo, leader of the team, said they were in the ministry to formally congratulate the minister and solicit his support to actualise the implementation of several agreements reached between them and the federal government.
He, however, noted that one of the major issues was that of salary adjustment for health workers under the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS) which had not been implemented since it was approved.
He urged the minister, as the Chief Conciliator, to invoke an immediate action by the Presidential Committee on Salaries, which has the power to push for its implementation.
He assured the minister that JOHESU was not interested in using strikes to achieve its aims but would explore negotiation to maintain industrial harmony.
Recall that on September 8, 2021, former minister of labour, Chris Ngige, after a meeting with JOHESU said both sides reached an understanding.
Areas of agreement were on hazard allowance, review of retirement age from 60 to 65 years, and arrears relating to the adjustment on the new national minimum wage.
Also, understanding was reached on the upward adjustment of the Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS), as done with Consolidated Medical Salary Structure (CONMESS).
“Based on previous discussion, we delivered to them (JOHESU) the financial implication of what is due to them and they promised to get back to their members and report back to us,” the minister had said at the time.
JOHESU had demanded immediate payment of omissions and shortfalls in the COVID-19 hazard allowances of affected health workers in federal health institutions.
They also sought recognition of health workers in non-core hospital facilities in payment of the hazard allowance and demanded speedy implementation of an increase in retirement age from 60 to 65 years, and 70 years for consultants in the health professions.