Gombe State chapter of the Joint Health Sector Union, JOHESU, has embarked on an indefinite industrial action, saying they won’t resume at their duty posts until the management of the Federal Teaching Hospital, FTH, meets some of their demands.
Public Relations Officer of the chapter, Malam Idris Bello, said at a press briefing yesterday that the union had been on strike for over a week now.
He said it was important to inform the general public so that they wouldn’t panic if there is nobody to attend to them.
“Our strike has been on for over a week and it remains indefinite until the management addresses at least four out of our grievances if not the whole eight. We feel that we have an obligation to tell the general public what is happening so that they will understand because they may bring patient(s) to the hospital and find out that the staff are not working.
“At times the public feel that we are ingrates, but that is not the issue, the issue is bias. Doctors are the ones being given the positions of health minister, chief medical directors and medical directors. They use their position to boost their profession and then suppress others in the health sector and we are saying this cannot continue. Besides, there are other in-house issues that have been unattended to. That is what we want the general public to be aware of.
“We want to plead with them, because we know they will suffer when we go on strike, but when you are pushed to the wall, there is always a limit to patience and tolerance,” he said.
The union and management of FTH Gombe on June 10, prior to the industrial action, signed a Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, on some of the grievances that they were agitating for. Implementation of most of the issues was supposed to have been addressed by the end of July, while the rest were left pending until the right time.
Some of the issues include promotion arrears for 2014 and 2015 which was not effected as agreed. According to the union, some of the pending issue is the 28-day allowance, the last time the money was paid was in 1999 and they have about 1,700 staff in the hospital.
Other issues are teaching allowance paid to all senior workers involved in teaching in the hospital, disparity in promotion among others.
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