Tuesday, September 26

Public health officers say no threat, intimidation can dictate their decision

Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr +

In a counter-statement to the Ministry of Health’s announcement to stop the salaries of striking public health officers, the Association of Public and Environmental Health Officers of The Gambia (APEHOG) on Wednesday stated that no amount of external threat or intimidation can dictate the decision of the association regarding the current industrial action.
Starting Wednesday 29 June 2022, the Ministry of Health revealed that any Public Health Officer who continues the strike and absents from work despite the government’s stance in meeting their demands would lead to the stoppage of their salaries.

The organisation, however, expressed disappointment with the ministry’s statement, saying the release is primarily geared towards frustrating their efforts in finding an amicable solution to the current situation and turning the APEHOG membership against the executive.

“We want to make it clear that the current sit-down strike was a unanimous agreement by the APEHOG membership during an emergency congress and we are currently implementing what was agreed by the membership. The Executive has been communicating on a regular basis with the general membership on the every few engagements with the concerned authorities as opposed to some of the claims highlighted in the letter.”

APEHOG continued that the first strike was called off in the interest of the people they serve and that was a clear manifestation of how considerate the association was in the state guarding the interest of the populace.

The statement further highlighted that the second strike commenced with the slogan No Pay, No Work, saying following the engagements with the authorities, the executive was willing to reach a compromise per approval of the allowances by the cabinet. According to them, this was just to indicate the willingness of the membership to return to work.

“This and many other compromises did by the association and the executive, in particular, are all geared towards making the strike end the soonest time possible. We have sailed too far to be dictated to or intimidated. We repeat that one cannot have an omelet without breaking an egg. We, therefore, urge all Public Health Officers to disregard the release and be reminded that our motto of “Touch one, Touch all remains firm.”