There appears to be a glimmer of hope at LUTH as striking health workers have reached an agreement with the management regarding the issues being agitated for. The chairperson of senior staff association of Universities teaching hospitals and allied institutes, SSAUTHRAI, Mr. Kehinde Adegoke, made this known to National Mirror yesterday at LUTH. Mr. Adegoke said that the management has promised to pay the promotions and allowances of the association and also comply with their demand. However, he reframed from giving details of the agreement saying that, “the management has to sign an MOU first before we can reveal the details of the agreement reached with them. We can’t say anything yet because nothing has been put in writing but we will be having a meeting today (Wednesday) with the management, it is after this meeting that the MOU will be signed pending on the outcome of the meeting”. He however revealed that there has been a positive response from the management.
The Joint House Unions and Association JHUA comprising the medical and health health workers union (MWHUN) and the Senior Staff Association of Universities Teaching Hospitals, Research and Allied Institutes (SSAUTHRAI), The National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwifes (NANNM) and the Non Academic Staff Union in LUTH had been on strike since 30th of December, 2013. Their grievances according to Mr. Adegoke include, “non payment of salary increment, refusal to promote officers and lack of promotion for some members who met the requirements. The management had said they don’t have money but there are budget for these things. The number of people promoted does not affect the budget.” He laments. He said that among the nurses, only 89 people went for the last promotion and only 10 were promoted.
Meanwhile National Mirror also spoke with Dr Omojowolo, the President of the Association of Resident doctors in LUTH. Regarding the effect of the strike on clinical duties and how they have been coping without the nurses, Lab scientists and other health workers for the past three weeks.
Dr Omojowolo, said that doctors have been able to go about their duties effectively even without the other health workers. He says, “We have been able to go round some issues like nurses opening the clinics and other minor duties. I am not saying that other health workers are not important but a doctor does not need a nurse to give injection to patients. Regarding the lab duties he says, “We have doctors trained as Lab physicians, not just anybody who went to study BSC Lab or whatever. And they are there doing their work. As am talking to you now, the Labs in LUTH are functioning, and as long as the Lab is open, there are doctors there to work. We also have private labs like PATHCARE that patients can go to.”
Dr.Omojowolo, regretted that Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) has declared intention of starting strike again. He remarked that their demands are frivolous and baseless. “Why would the other health workers, JOHESU want to skip their salary when we doctors are not skipping? The issue is that JOHESU wants to skip CONHESS 10 and move from 9 to 11. If the JOHESU want to skip their grade level then everybody will start skipping.
Regarding the judgment by the National Industrial Court (NIC) order in this favor, Dr Omojowolo explained that this has been appealed by the Minister of Health.
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