The Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) on Thursday suspended its planned nationwide strike to press home improved working conditions. The union also gave the Federal Government a 21-day ultimatum, effective from Feb. 18, to meet its demands.
Mr Biobellemoye Josiah, the National Chairman of the union, announced this while briefing newsmen on the outcome of JOHESU’s meeting with some government officials in Abuja.
Josiah said the union met with the Ministers of State for Health and Labour, respectively, as well as the Chairman, National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.
Others government representatives were the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health; and Permanent Secretary, Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation.
Representatives of Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Budget Office, Department of State Security Services, and the Director, Industrial Relations and Trade Union Services, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment also attended the meeting, he said.
He explained that the industrial action was suspended due to pleas by the government to meet their demands before the end of the ultimatum.
According to him, the 21 days ultimatum will expire by March 10 midnight.
He warned that the union would proceed on the strike if government failed to redeem its promises by the expiration of the deadline.
“At the meeting with the Federal Government JOHESU requested that issues that borders on finance and implementation of Court judgment should be addressed and reflected in the budget within 72 hours while others are resolved within seven days.
“After due consideration of the demands and the elongation of deadline by 72 hours for the resumption of industrial action granted to the FG by JOHESU, the Ministers of Labour and Employment, and Health, respectively, observed that the demands were protracted issues in dispute previously handled by the preceding administration.
“We rejected the time lag of 30 days as requested by the Government and settled for 21 days for the extension of the ultimatum ending March 10.
“We seize this opportunity to appeal to the general public whose interest we have considered to give the extension of ultimatum to impress it on the government to keep to her promises,’’ he said. (NAN)