The Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) has demanded equal hazard allowance for health workers in the country.
In 2017, the current administration reinforced the issue of equal hazard allowance with terms of agreement between the federal government and JOHESU.
In their renewed quest for parity in hazard allowance for health workers, JOHESU and the Assembly of Health Professional Associations (AHPA), said a flat pay template for hazard remuneration across board be maintained and should be the basis for the proposed upward review of hazard allowance by the federal government.
According to the president of JOHESU, Comrade Biobelemoye Joy Josiah, the union wants a flat pay template for hazard remuneration across board and should be the basis for the proposed upward review of hazard allowance by the federal government.
Josiah in a statement said his union and AHPA are relying on the 2014 report of the Collective Bargaining Committee which reviewed the 2009 CBA between the federal government and JOHESU. He said, “We agreed that if the CONMESS salary that was adjusted recently created a disparity between the CONMESS and CONHESS Salary Structure, the CONHESS should also be adjusted to reflect the adjustment made to the CONMESS salary.”
He added that this remains the basis for agitation for the adjustment of CONHESS as was done with CONMESS since 2014. Josiah said the over two-decade hazard allowance template of flat pay for hazard across board be maintained and should be the basis for the proposed upward review of hazard allowance by the federal government.
The president said the use of the term “Clinical and Non-Clinical Staff” for persons in a common workplace is offensive and engenders discrimination in the health workplace. He noted that JOHESU/AHPA has always maintained that there is a basic humanity that is shared by all health workers which makes them all vulnerable to the same general risk factors and hazards.
According to him, the existing treaties of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) are very instructive in this instance and scenario because Nigeria is bound as a signatory to the various treaties, explaining that the ILO Convention III – Non-Discriminatory Convention Article 1(1) (b) and Article 2 are very instructive in the modulation of hazard allowance for health workers.
“The discrimination against JOHESU members in this regards borders on social origin because of the psychological atrophy inflicted on them in their occupation and employment in the work place.
JOHESU therefore, rejects the stratification of hazard allowance according to Clinical and Non-Clinical Staff, insisting that the term ‘Clinical and Non-Clinical Staff’ is an arbitrary terminology alien to the lexicons and statutes in the Nigerian public services and should not be used for the purposes of ranking or categorization of Nigeria workers including those in the health sector.
‘’No medical and health worker in the public service has a contract with such dichotomous classification or designation in their letter of appointment. According to extant schemes of service, rules and statutes in the Nigerian public service, workers are distinctively classified into ranks (Grade levels) and pay using approved salary structures,” he said.