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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Health workers shut down Ekiti teaching hospital over unpaid N1.6 billion benefits

Medical workers at the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), Ado Ekiti, on Monday, August 22 2022, shut down the hospital over unpaid N1.6 billion working benefits.

The medical workers, under the auspices of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) had gathered at the main gate of the tertiary health facility located at Adebayo area and sealed off the hospital.

It was gathered that from early hours in the morning till 12 noon, no worker, including members of the management and doctors, were allowed free entry and exit throughout the time the warning protest lasted.

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The protesting medical staff trooped out in their hundreds chanting anti-government songs and bemoaning the government’s action over the unfavourable plights of workers in the health institution.

Addressing the workers, the JOHESU chairman, EKSUTH chapter, Comrade Omotola Farotimi, predicated their action on non-payment of salary arrears, cooperative deductions, and non-implementation of minimum wage and unpaid leave bonuses.

Farotimi lamented that cooperative deductions, had not been paid by the management in the last 24 months, thereby increasing the tally to an aggregate of N1.6bn, without hope that the amount would be defrayed in record time.

“When this government came in 2018, the aggregate of the outstanding deductions was N500 million. But now, it has swelled to as much as N1.6billion.

“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.”

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Responding to the degenerating situation, the EKSUTH’s Chief Medical Director, Kayode Olabanji, said the management met with JOHESU last Thursday and reassured them of their commitment to accede to their requests.

Mr Olabanji added that a letter of assurance dated 19th August had been given to JOHESU 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?” he said.

“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.”

The issue of unpaid salary arrears in Ekiti State cuts across all the institutions of the state.

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