N2bn Arrears: Ogun Teaching Hospital Workers Threaten Strike

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Workers of the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital, Sagamu, Ogun State, on Wednesday threatened to embark on strike if the state government fails to pay their over N2bn salary arrears.


The workers, under the aegis of the Joint Health Sector Unions comprising the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, Senior Staff Association and Non-Academic Staff Union, also accused the state government of being insensitive to their plight.

Already, they have given the state government a three-day ultimatum to settle the debt as well as meet their other demands. The ultimatum ends on Monday next week.

JOHESU Chairman, Jamiu Ojabello, who addressed reporters on Wednesday, said the state government must pay the arrears deducted via their March 2011 salaries, non-payment of their 17-month Consolidated Tertiary Institutions Salary Structure arrears, and the 13-month Consolidated Health Salary Structure arrears among others.

He said, “The government of Ogun State should consider the peculiarity of the teaching hospital and improve upon the finances viz-a-viz the agitation of the workers to bring back an enabling environment where workers will go about their God-fearing and life-saving services in the right psychological state and frame of mind.

“The Ogun State Government owes OOUTH workers a whopping outstanding debt of over N2bn which we believe is long overdue and we are ever ready to ask for our legitimate entitlement. We appeal to all well-meaning Ogun indigenes to quickly intervene to prevent hardship on our patients.”

Ojabello also alleged that their working condition in the hospital contravened the standard set by the World Health Organisation.

He added, “Despite the fact that OOUTH workers are being deprived of their legitimate entitlement, they are being overworked. The international minimum standard in nursing practice is a nurse to four patients but here in OOUTH, one nurse attends to 20 patients and only God knows what happens to such a worker.”

The state government, he further said, had shirked in its responsibility regarding its contributions to the pension scheme despite making deductions from the workers’ salaries.

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