The Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) has asked President Muhammadu Buhari to sack Isaac Adewole, minister of health, for allegedly taking sides with doctors in the ongoing strike.
Addressing a press conference in Abuja on Thursday, Biobelemoye Josiah, JOHESU chairman, demanded a new negotiating team to replace that of Chris Ngige, minister of labour and employment.
He said being a medical doctor, Ngige has also been compromised in the efforts to end the strike.
However, the group called off strike in Lagos, Kano, Yobe and Niger states, calling on all health workers in the four states to relax the strike following the “implementation” of the agreement by the states.
JOHESU commenced strike on April 17. Part of their demands is the upward review of their salaries to be at same level with the doctors, a request both the federal government and the doctors kicked against.
“The federal ministry of health as presently led by Prof. Isaac Adewole has constituted itself as a major hindrance to fruitful deliberation as he has never disguised his intention to symbolise the propaganda machine of the NMA through his posturing at all our meetings, which necessitated JOHESU to take a position that the negotiations were structured to fail ab-initio,” he said.
“Prof. Isaac Adewole is on record to have insisted that the wage structure in the health sector must reckon with what was obtainable in the 1991 late Prof. Olikoye Ransome –Kuti’s dual salary system (MSS and HSS) which marked the beginning of persistent acrimony until it was corrected through the harmonised tertiary institutions salary Structure and HAPSS in 2003.
“The ministers of labour and health, who are both members of the NMA, have taken a position that parity must entail a basic salary differential in the emolument of health professionals and their doctor colleagues.
“As bonafide citizens, we however reject a slave mentality which present salary wages confers on us.”
The press conference held the same day the National Industrial Court, Abuja, ordered all health workers to resume within 24 hours.