Health Workers In Bayelsa Threaten To Continue Strike By Friday If…
Health Workers in Bayelsa State under the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) are threatening to continue the strike by Friday.
Work had started at different government hospitals in the state and Bounce News visited the Federal Medical Centre in Yenagoa, the capital of the state.
JOHESU had called off the strike on June 1 to resume negotiation that has now been taken over by the Appeal Courts' Alternative Dispute Resolution body, believing that the government would pay them their salaries.
They are not willing to wait for so long for the salary to come.
At a congress held at the Federal Medical Centre on Monday, the Medical Director, Dr. Dennis Allagoa, told the workers to return to their duty posts while they await their April and May salaries, as promised by the Federal Government.
But the workers are not so patient.
Mrs. Agatha Ekebi, who works at the eye clinic, said: "We resumed work today and are expecting to receive alert.
"If they don't pay at the end of Friday, we intend to resume the strike because we can't work on empty stomach or trek from our houses to work every day".
We took a walk around the premises.
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The hospital premises which used to be a busy place was practically empty except for few people seen standing along the road.
Dr. Stephen Nor is a surgeon and he believes the empty premises was because health workers just resumed.
"The striking workers just resume but from what we hear this morning.
"They will go on strike again soon if they are not paid and might not resume till all their demands are met," he said.
He also wants the Federal Government to look into the health workers' demands, as work was becoming very difficult without them.
Members of JOHESU, Bayelsa State Chapter commenced an industrial Strike on April 18th, 2018 in a bid to press home demands for the adjustment of their salary, promotion arrears, employment of additional health professionals and improved work environment.
Others are implementation of court judgement and the review of retirement age from 60—65 years.
The bone of contention was for the Federal Government to honour it's agreement.
However, other tiers of the government downed tools in solidarity with the health workers.
The only medical staff that were seen at the hospitals rendering skeletal services were consultant and resident doctors.
The union had accused the Nigerian Medical Association of frustrating efforts made towards the implementation of it's agreement with the Federal Government.
Members if JOHESU claimed that the NMA had on many occasions declared it's opposition to demands made by JOHESU on salary harmonisation and insist that doctors cannot be on the same salary scheme as other health workers.