The Association of Public Health and Environmental Officers has defied ultimatum to return to work or face the sack. 

The public health workers were warned by the Ministry of Health on Tuesday that they would be sacked if they continue with the strike action. 

However, the public health officers have refused to be cowed. 

The group said: “The executive is privy to a press release referenced FIN 420/255/01 part iv (64-m.l. J) dated 28th June 2022 signed by Mr. Muhamadou Lamin Jaiteh (PS1) in which we deduced several misleading statements.  

“We must say we are utterly disappointed with the content of the press release and is the least we expect from such an office. 

“The executive will like to put to light that this release is primarily geared towards frustrating our 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 unanimously agreed by the membership. 

“Hence, no amount of external threat or intimidation can dictate the decision of the association regarding the current industrial action.”

“Meanwhile, we will further add that the executive has been communicating on regular basis with the general membership on the very few engagements with the concerned authorities as opposed to some of the claims highlighted in the letter. 

“The first strike was called off in the interest of the people we serve and that was a clear manifestation of how considerate the association is in safeguarding the interest of the populace. 

“The second strike commenced with the slogan “No Pay, No Work” but following the engagements with the authorities, the executive was willing to reach to a compromise as per approval the approval of the allowances by the cabinet just to indicate the willingness of the membership to return back to work,” it added. 

“This and many other compromises done by the association and the executive in particular are all geared towards making the strike end in the soonest time possible. 

“We will like to remind all public health officers that we have sailed too far to be dictated or intimidated. We repeat that one cannot have an omelette 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. 

“The executive will communicate to the membership to resume work as by our own accord depending on the engagements that are ongoing both within and outside the cadre.”

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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