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FG, health workers reach agreement

By The Citizen
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Federal Government and workers in Federal hospitals and other institutions have resolved the protracted industrial disputes between the workers and government, thereby averting the sector's looming industrial unrest.

Five unions in the health sector, operating under Joint Health Sector Unions, JOHESU, on March 18, issued a 15-day ultimatum to Federal Government over non-implementation of May 10, 2012 Collective Agreement, among others.

However, at a meeting called by the Minister of Labour and Productivity, Mr. Emeka Wogu, and attended by officials of the Federal Ministry of Health, National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, and JOHESU, agreement was reached.

According to the agreement, 'on non-implementation of May 10, 2012 Collective Agreement, the meeting noted that JOHESU had declared a nine-point trade dispute.

'Four of the points in dispute were referred to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, NICN, while the remaining were to be implemented by the Federal Ministry of Health.

'It was noted that while NICN had accorded due diligence and importance to the case by constituting a three-man panel, the Federal Ministry of Health Legal representatives were not keeping up with the expectation of JOHESU on the speedy prosecution of the case.'

'The Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity shall write to the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure speedy prosecution of the case by the lawyers so assigned.

'It was noted that the Memo on the Presidential Committee Report was now ready for the consideration of the Federal Executive Council and is expected to be listed against March 28, 2013.

'It was agreed that no part of the report can be implemented without the approval of Mr. President as the Committee was set up on his directives. On promotion from Consolidated Health Sector Salary Structure, CONHESS, 14 to 15, it was noted that promotions are carried out subject to vacancy.

'It was also noted that Federal Ministry of Health had directed the Chief Medical Directors, CMDs, to conduct promotion exercise in line with the Collective Agreement and the correspondence of the Federal Ministry of Health, reference no. SMH.5875.26/T/2B dated June 20, 2012 as well as the extant Scheme of Service.'