THE TEXT OF PRESS CONFERENCE ADDRESSED BY COMRADE NURSE ABDRAFIU ALANI ADENIJI ON THE ON-GOING INDUSRIAL ACTION BY JOHESU ON 21ST APRIL 2018 AT NANNM SECRETARIAT ABEOKUTA. OGUN STATE
Protocol; Gentlemen of the press, we welcome you all to this very important press briefing as regard the on-going industrial action by Joint Health Sector Union ( JOHESU ).
The purpose is to put the records in the right perspective and also to educate the general populace of the happenings in the health sector. We will recall that JOHESU which is the coming together of five (5) Registered Trade Unions and Professional Association has commenced nationwide indefinite industrial action since mid-night of Tuesday 17th April, 2018.
National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NAININM) has totally agreed and directed all our members at Federal Health institutions to totally abide by the directive.
And by this note, to put our members at States and Local Government on RED ALERT to join the strike provided the government failed to do the needful. It is important to remind our self about the bone of contention.
It may interest you to know that the lingering crises dated back since 2012, some of our demands include the following;
• Improve health care financing
• Infrastructural developments and improved supply of equipment and working conditions in our health institutions
• Arrears of skipping of CONHESS 10
• Employment of Additional Health professionals
• Implementation of court judgements and gazette government circular
• The upward adjustment of CONHESS
• Upward review of retirement Age from 60 - 65
It is no more a news, but it remains astonishing that any reasonable Nigeria citizen will be using denial as mental mechanism to underrate the impact of JOHESU STRIKE.
A lot of name calling, opposition. aggression. are being witnessed especially from the same group who have instigated the precarious situation that warrant the strike action.
We are pained that all the proactiveness and measures undertaking by JOHESU, a combination of responsible and registered trade union bodies were badly mismanaged by the federal ministry of health which is today rechristened MINISTRY OF HELL.
Personal aggrandizement and egocentrism and lack of love for the system that is feeding them. No wonder the show of shame of calling for privatization of the health sector which we the JOHESU members especially the NURSES AND MIDWIVES in Nigeria are saying NO to.
One wonders if you base enterprises to manage and you are calling for privatization of that sector, IS IT NOT AN ADMITTANCE OF FAILURE?
On behalf of the leadership of NANNM and JOHESU in general, I commend the entire affiliate union Association, and individual members for effective compliance and commitment to the struggle for emancipation from serfdom into freedom and from injustice and fowl play in health sector in Nigeria to social justice and equity
On the other hand we are constrained to announce and persistently defend our course of action for gong on strike to care givers. As well known, health sector is more of service delivery.
We appeal to the masses to remain patient and bear with us as this stage is inevitable one that is aimed at imposing the smooth running of healthcare delivery to the masses with availability, accessiblity and a highly safe and qualitative healthcare system.
We know that an increase in Nigeria life expectancy from 47 to 49 years for males and females respectively will be an advantage to all of us. The increase in healthcare financing, the non privatization of healthcare sector in Nigeria, increase in assurance for quality and safe healthcare services will be an advantage to all. Now it may tantamount to pain, but the gain is insight.
We are not unaware that our counterpart in healthcare profession has contributed in increasing your hardship by playing the devil incarnate and not allowing you to be discharged home, leaving in fool's haven by deceiving you all that they can handle the situation. not minding the JOHESU members being on strike.
They have done this wickedly and against the ethics and international best practices to assume jack of all trade that is becoming master of none.
It is evident in our healthcare services outcome in the committee of nations where Nigeria. the big brother of Africa, most populous black nation, endowed country with abundant resources (human and capital), yet greatly mismanaged They have persistently made the nation to belief healthcare service is all about Medicare. The trend that has made us to misuse our resources, if not, what is malaria treatment looking for in teaching/tertiary hospitals.
LEGALITY OF JOHESU STRIKE
The trade union act, and all the laws of the federal republic of Nigeria recognises that any group that is registered as a trade union in Nigeria base the rights to declare trade dispute with the government.
For the avoidance of doubt JOHESU is composed of 5 duly registered trade unions viz;
I. Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN)
2. National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM)
3. Senior Staff Association of Universities. Teaching Hospitals. Research institutes and Ascot-dried Institutions (SSAUTHRIAD)
4. Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP)
5. Non Academics Staff Union of Education and Associated Institutions (NASU)
JOHESU has been in negotiation with the government, using service to humanity as a principal focus. Unfortunately the people surrounding the federal government are the same people who have caused the avoidable industnal disharmony' in Nigeria health sector.
The crop of Doctors we have in Nigeria has abandoned stethoscope with Hippocratic Oath to pure business and politicking trading with the fortune of the entire health service of Nigeria.
They have consistently mismanaged the health sector in Nigeria from 4th position within the committee of commonwealth nation to the worst situation where we are ranking 187 out of 190 in World Health System.
Nigerian Doctor always quote international best practices Canadian physicians recently rejected upward review of salary and emonulment and protest in favour of other healthcare workers.
> Strike action in 2014
> Strike action in 2017
> Various court judgement
> Memorandum and term of agreement in September 2017
> Government concession to implement 15 weeks
> 4months thereafter, 21 days ultimatum
> 6months after, 30 working days
Nigerians, we have fulfilled all conditions of legalities to embark on strike. BLAME THE MINISTER whose ministry is on fire. and chose international engagement with impunity.
Nigerians, we hase not called for his removal yet but judge if this kind of personality will solve the problem of Nigeria health Sector
PARITY AND DISPARITY IN HEALTH SECTOR
It remained unchanged the professionalism in a multidisciplinary sector like federal ministry of health. Every healthcare professional were trained and educated for the service to be rendered. Nurses. Pharmacist. Physiotherapist. Lab scientist all spent 5 years for basic university education while medicine is 6 years
Before 1973 Udoji Award. all public servants earn same salary with difference in allowances, while medics enter on Grade Level GL09. others on grade Level GL08
Today judge who is being cheated and where disparity lies.
Medics entry point is opus item to GL12 others remain GL09 for extra one year in the university now accounts for 9 years moratorium for others to work and if there is vacancy, get to the entry point where medical doctors must have entered, left and towers above others.
Because of their advantageous position, since 1980, they have corruptly enriched themselves and they have all evade facing the wroth of EFCC waiting for the day of Judgement.
Salaries of medics base been adjusted twice since 2010 and currently in January 2018. are another adjustment in their salary which has been approved and the circular is currently in circulation. Where lies injustice, and disparity?
For the avoidance of doubt all JOHESU is asking for is EQUITY, social Justice and not EQUALITY.
However, we have to sound note of warning that though their members are in high ranking position in government, using the confidence and trust impose upon than to corruptly enrich their members perverting cause of justice, and igniting crises. pandemonium and disharmony in health sectors, They are not our employers, thinking that any position they are occupying we are all employees of a single body, the Federal Government of Nigeria George o' well animal farm should not be the order of the day again.
While Nigeria Doctors were against skipping and hire lawyers to support non-skipping which the JOHESU won.
They also use their position as chief executives of Federal institution and they illegally implemented skipping for their members. while the legal beneficiaries are still being deprived. For anybody that may want to join the detractors should add this form of injustice before you conclude.
UNIFIED SCHEME OF SERVICE
During this struggle, the federal government agreed to work on federal government to ensure full implementation of the product of Nurses' struggle for 4 decades which resorted into IAP AWARD of 1981, court judgement of 2010 and 2012 and above all the National council of Establishment approval of 2016 where
. internship for Nurses was approved
. Lateral conversion approved
. And unified scheme of service approved
That abolished superintendent/mairon cadre and nomenclature to enthrone the fact that all nurses trained and certified are Nursing Officers. We appreciate some state governments and federal health institutions that has adopted and implemented the circular. Using this auspicious opportunity to urge ogun state government as well as other states and all parastatals and agencies that are yet it adopt to without further delay adopt the scheme by recognising all cadre of Nursing as Officer, effect lateral conversion and apply it appropriately for all deserved officers as well as employ Nurse Interns in our health services.
In conclusion, we are using this medium to call on well-meaning Nigerian to prevail on the federal government to urge the federal ministry of health to depart from their antics of begging the issue and face reality. We should all make the federal minister of federal republic of poor Nigerian in health ministry to break his business abroad and come back to address and quench the fire he has lighted before the rest fabrics of the Nigerian health sector is burnt into ashes. Instead of the ministry addressing the issue, the Director of hospital services is busy issuing a God forsaking circular to include:
• No work no pay
• Opening of register
• Appointment of locum staff
• Involvement of security personnel
We are not deterred, NO FEAR, NO APPREHENSION, OUR VICTORY IS CERTAINED
Our members are resolute and determined to press home oUR demands We also wish to charge our friends in the media to do independent and on-spot assessment of the effectiseness of the strike as Federal ministry of health has proved their incompetence to be a good umpire
Circular DHS/166/12 of 20/04/2018 is an indication and admittance of failure but resulting for a call to anarchy.
Nurse ABDRAFIU ADENIJI
National President (NANNM)
National Association of Nigeria Nurses & Midwives