Health workers of the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, Lagos, acting under the aegis of the Joint Health Sectors Union, JOHESU, Yaba branch, marched round the hospital premises in a peaceful protest, on Monday, urging the government to pay their 5 years promotion arrears.
The protesting JOHESU members speaking through several placards they displayed, said that the seven days warning strike which will end on Tuesday, is a means of driving home their demands.
The aggrieved workers are demanding action on their 2010 promotion arrears, 2011/2012 promotion and skipping arrears as well as 2013 promotion and skipping arrears.
The health workers who spoke to TELL at the hospital premises during the protest said arrears usually comes at the beginning of the year, before the promotion commences, but for 5 years now this has not been paid.
The workers said “this means that when you are promoted from one level to another, the difference is not paid, then talking of skipping allowance which we learnt, they have paid other hospitals but have not paid us here.
“The last time we went on strike they said they will pay us, but our director of administration, Oyetola and R.A Lawal, the medical director will soon be going on retirement and basically if they cannot collect this money now that they are on seat the money is gone forever, that’s why we are agitating.”
The aggrieved workers sang solidarity songs and displayed placards, some of which read: “Bring back our arrears now,” “president Jonathan, president-elect Buhari, please intervene to pay our 5 years promotion arrears. We are tired of stagnation, pay us our 5 years promotion arrears.”
Uzondu Eke, JOHESU Chairman, Yaba Psychiatric hospital, said “the Federal Government had refused to pay the money being owed as promotion arrears to the health workers.”
He added that “this issue has been on with the management and each time we approach them, they say they are working on it and also the management through the medical director said they are not owing us, that it is the government who is owing us.”
He added that “the question is who appointed the medical directors and whom are they representing, it is definitely the government that’s why we are crying out to them.” Continuing, Eke said “all other institutions have been paid, but ours running to over N4million is yet to be paid, because they all attend the CMD medical director meetings, so therefore how did other institutions get paid leaving us behind.”
On the issue of the proposed privatization of Total Diagnostic Centre, a Center donated to the hospital, Eke said the Federal Neuro-Psychiatric Hospital, Yaba, has the capacity to manage the center in the best interest of the patients.
“My management, through the medical director, said they cannot manage it. But having the center managed by the private sector would be at the detriment of patients who will not be able to afford the exorbitant cost of the center.
“We are being marginalized and since my management says its beyond its ability, that’s why we are crying out to the FG to tell the accountant general or finance to tell whoever that is involved to pay us our money and also stop the agenda of privatizing other departments,” he said.
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