Health Workers Suspend Planned Strike in Ekiti

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Victor Ogunje in Ado-Ekiti

Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) Ekiti State chapter yesterday shelved the strike action already scheduled to commence by staff of Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH) today (Monday) over the sack of over 200 staff of the hospital.

The health union, which stated that the suspension was to display respect for Governor Kayode Fayemi, had last week Thursday gave a three-day extension to the management of the hospital to recall the sacked staff, which ended 12 midnight Sunday or face total shut down of the health institution.

The announcement was made by JOHESU, in conjunction with Nigerian Labour Congress, Trade Union Congress and Joint Negotiating Council, with a threat that there will be sympathy strike from other sectors of the state civil service.

Announcing the suspension while speaking with journalists in Ado-Ekiti, JOHESU Chairperson, EKSUTH chapter, Comrade Omotola Farotimi, said the union decided to suspend the strike action owing to resolution reached by labour with management on January 10.

She said: “We won’t be going on strike again. On Friday, the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Labour, Chief Yemi Esan, came to hold a meeting with us on behalf of the governor, with the management. We all came to a conclusion that everybody that was given letter would be given fair hearing by the time they would meet in February and they would give them their salary.

“Some of them had been re-absorbed and we had told to them go back to their duty posts with immediate effect.

“They have also agreed to meet all our agitations on welfare of our members soon. We give the governor the respect for coming to our aid and for calling the meeting to hear us out. We are giving him that respect that is why we are suspending the strike action hoping that the needful would be done.”

In the resolution signed on Friday after the meeting by EKSUTH Chief Medical Director, Prof. Kayode Olabanji, representatives of organised labour and JOHESU affiliates in EKSUTH and made available to newsmen yesterday, it was agreed that all the sacked workers shall be given fair hearing by EKSUTH’s board’s appeal panel during its sitting in February.

It was also agreed that “all the sacked workers working in critical sectors should return to their duty posts with immediate effect, with a promise that their re-absorption will be forwarded to the board for ratification.

“That all those with genuine cases will be redressed with all their salaries and allowances paid. And that no one would be made to be victim of witch-hunt over the imbroglio in EKSUTH,” the statement said.