Just five days after Ekiti doctors embarked on an indefinite strike actions, Ekiti healthcare workers under the auspices of the Joint Associations and Unions of Ekiti State Healthcare Workers are set to embark on a three-day warning strike beginning from Monday being July 6.
The union comprises the state chapters of the National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN) and the Nigerian Union of Allied Health Professionals which comprises pharmacists, among others.
In a letter dated July 3, and addressed to Governor Kayode Fayemi, the union notified the government of the commencement of the industrial action and why the decision became inevitable.
In the letter, titled, “Notification of 3 Day Warning Strike in Respect of Failure to Meet the Request of Healthcare Workers in the Public Health Sector,” the union said series of ultimatums issued to the government and dated June 3, 8, and 24, were ignored by the administration.
The chairman of the union, Femi Ajoloko, accused the government of subjecting the healthcare workers to untold hardship, saying their sacrifices for the state have been taken for granted.
According to Mr Ajoloko, for the past 10 years, healthcare workers in the state have not been receiving statutory hazard allowance and other allowances including those for uniforms, skipping, among others.
He said; “We have arrears of unpaid salaries and the government has consistently been making deductions from our salaries without remitting the same to appropriate purses such as cooperative societies.
“We had been managing and enduring these challenges but even at this critical time, the state has refused to consider us by paying the covid-19 special hazard allowance. After a series of letters, when we met with government representatives on Monday, we were told the state does not have money.”
The letter reads in part; “The leadership of the Joint Associations and Unions of Ekiti State Healthcare Workers frowned at the lukewarm attitude of the state government towards our request which has not been acceded to by the state government.
“Having exhausted all the necessary means and procedures to avert this impending strike to no avail, the leadership of above named associations and unions, therefore, painstakingly resolved and declared a three-day warning strike with effect from 12midnight on Monday, July 6, 2020, to press home our demands.”
Reacting, Ekiti state government through the office of commissioner for health, Mojisola Yaya-Kolade, said the government would soon issue an official statement.
Mrs Yaya-Kolade’s tarse response simply reads; “A statement will be issued.”
This is the same response the commissioner gave when a similar inquiry was made on the ongoing doctors’ strike in the state. But the statement is yet to be issued more than 72 hours after. Premiumtimes