The leadership of the Joint Health Sector and Assembly of Health Care Professionals Imo State Chapter has said that its members may be forced to embark on industrial action if Imo State Governor, Hope Uzodinma fails to address their demands.
The health workers comprising of National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM) Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUM) and Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP) threatened that the outstanding salaries of its members in the state and local government services be paid to avert industrial action.
.Addressing journalists yesterday afternoon at the union’s secretariat in Owerri, Imo State Capital, the Secretary of Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU), Comrade Ukpabi Rosemary said the exercise is being done in bad faith, adding that the end product is targeted to service selfish interest and not to the good people of Imo State.
Comrade Ukpabi who said the screening exercise of health workers alone in the 27 LGA should be stopped forthwith to avert industrial action said ” the ongoing selective verification /screening by Mrs KRO Izuogu the Secretary who doubles as the Chairman of the Verification Screening Committee is the third in the last 5months .”
She said the Permanent Secretary has no constitutional right to carry out statutory function of the commission such as promotion, demotion and appointment of workers.
Also speaking, Comr Lakia G Mamah, Imo State Secretary of MHWUM and the State Secretary NUHAP, Ihesinulo Austin said the verification /screening of only its members by the Secretary the Verification Screening Committee is causing serious apprehension, panic, and tension to members of the union.
The union leaders who said JOHESU is not against screening /verification in the State but take exception to selective exercise said the way and manner which the Permanent Secretary is threatening and intimidating members is a cause for concern to the Union.
The MHWUM Secretary said the high handedness attitude of the Permanent Secretary Local Government Service Commission lend support to media report that Imo State Government is planing to sack some Health Workers in order to reduce Local Government Area wage bill.
He said from the record of service, the permanent secretary is due for retirement from Imo State Civil Service on 18th October, 2020.and ought to be on retirement leave in lieu of notice.
When contacted, Mrs. K. R.O Izuogu, Secretary who doubles as the Chairman of the Verification Screening Committee said the union’s claim on selective verification/ screening exercise of health workers in the 27 LGA was false and not targeted to service selfish interest but for the good people of Imo State.
She said before the coronavirus pandemic lockdown all the LGA staff were verified and screened except the health workers because of the World Health Organization instruction.
According to her, “there fear is that many of them got promotion illegally and don’t want to be exposed.”