UCH workers give FG 7-day ultimatum over unpaid salaries

By Ismaila Akanji, Ibadan
Members of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU), University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, have issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to pay their outstanding salaries.
At a press conference in Ibadan on Friday, they vowed that they would proceed on indefinite strike from Tuesday, January 3, 2017, if the outstanding salaries were not paid.
The group consisted of four professional associations, among whom are the National Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP) and the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM).
Others are Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) and the Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAI).
Chairman of the National Union of Allied Health Professionals (NUAHP), Mr Olusegun Sotiloye told newsmen that the last time they collected salary was in September.
Sotiloye, who addressed the news conference on the issue, stated that the seven-day ultimatum commenced from Friday, December 23, and ends on Friday, December 30.
He said that it was sad that health workers, who care for the sick, make decisions that could result in life and death, were subjected to such unimaginable hardship.
“Some of our members now trek to work to fulfil their professional, ethical and moral obligations.
“Those who can borrow have borrowed many times and their lenders have grown tired of them and are no longer lending them money,” he said.
Sotiloye said that their members are dejected, disenfranchised and their morale at the lowest ebb.
“We must let you know that this has become a recurring decimal as we had the same problem in 2014 and 2015 as the November and December salaries of the two years were not paid until January of the following year.
“This has been due to inadequate budgetary provision by the federal government as they arbitrarily slash the submitted personnel budget supplied by the hospital management.
“It is against this back ground that we are giving the federal government a seven-day ultimatum to pay all our outstanding salaries from today, Dec. 23 to Dec. 30.
“And if by then we are yet to receive the salaries, we will proceed on an indefinite strike by Tuesday, Jan. 3, 2017,” he threatened.
He urged those in charge of personnel budget to do everything that was needful in making sure that adequate provision was made to cover the incoming year.
Besides, Sotiloye appealed to well-meaning Nigerians to help pressure the federal government to quickly settle their outstanding salaries.

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