Ekiti State Teaching Hospital health workers protest unpaid entitlements

The Medical workers at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Ado Ekiti, on Monday, embarked on a protest over unpaid working benefits, and locked up the health institution barring staff and visitors from entering the hospital.

Penpushing reports that the aggrieved workers under the auspices of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), converged on the main gate of the health facility located at Adebayo and sealed off the hospital.

The staffers in their hundreds, were seen chanting anti-government songs to deride the government’s action on the poor state of workers in the health institution, while the blockage lasted between 8 a.m. and 12pm

Penpushing further reports that, Chairman of hospital chapter of Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), Omotola Farotimi, explained that the protest was to draw attention to the non-payment of salary arrears, cooperative deductions, non-implementation of minimum wage, and unpaid leave bonuses

The union chairman while addressing the workers regretted that cooperative deduction had not been paid by the management in the last 24 months, thereby increasing the tally to an aggregate of N1.6 billion.

“When this government came in 2018, the aggregate of the outstanding deductions was a sum of N500 million. But now, it has swelled to as much as N1.6bn, Another issue that has been agitating our minds is the issue of minimum wage. It has been implemented for workers at the Federal Teaching Hospital, Ido Ekiti. Even in Ekiti State, all health workers are being paid, except our members’,Farotimi stated.

“In the last meeting held by the hospital’s board, it approved the payment of minimum wage for us, yet nothing was done up to now. We can no longer wait and begin to suffer in silence. We must cry to the government’, he said.

“The board will have another meeting next week, so what we are doing is just a warning protest. This gate is where we are going to be doing our work for the next few days and we will continue until we have a positive response.”

Penpushing also reports that, Chief Medical Director of the institution, Dr Kayode Olabanji, in response said the management met with the union last Thursday and reassured them of their commitment to accede to their requests.

The hospital boss added that a letter of assurance dated 19th August had been given to the union leadership, thereby reinforcing the management’s commitment to ensuring that all the backlog of emoluments will be paid.

“There is nothing we do in secrecy in this hospital. It is agreed that there was an approved minimum wage for workers. But the questions are; was it cash-backed? Or was there money meant for payment that we stashed in one account?. We really sympathise with them, but I think we have given them enough assurance that we will pay. We are still going to do another meeting this week to iron all these issues out.”

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