By Eric Ugbor
ABA—Governor Okezie Ikpeazu of Abia State has approved the implementation of a new salary structure for workers of Abia State University Teaching Hospital, ABSUTH, Aba.
Secretary, Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Allied Institutions, SSAUTHRIAI, ABSUTH Chapter, Mr Samuel Kalu, made this known in an interview with reporters in Aba, yesterday.
The SSAUTHIRIA workers commended Ikpeazu for approving the payment of their salaries in line with the Consolidated Health Salary Structure and Consolidated Medical Salary Structure, COMESS/CONHESS.
Kalu said the union had been fighting for the review of the salary structure in the state since 2011.
ABSUTH workers had embarked on strike on December 19, 2016 to press their demand: the implementation of new salary scale, as well as for payment of three years pension arrears to its pensioners and refund of their deductions for contributions into their cooperatives staff accounts.
However, Kalu said that Ikpeazu’s good gesture towards ABSUTH had finally erased the six years of salary scale disparity existing within the institution, adding that“On the other issues we raised, our deductions which were withheld have been released including the June salary deductions.
“The issue of pensioners has been taken care of. They have been given one month pension arrears and are required to go through a verification exercise to enable them get their pay cheques. So, almost all the issues we asked for have been addressed.”
He noted that the agreement was reached at a meeting which the union held with the state Commissioner for Finance among others in Umuahia last week.
Kalu therefore urged all staff of the health institution who had not heard about the resumption to return quickly so as to be audited during the on-going personnel audit to enable them get paid.
“We are grateful to Dr Ikpeazu for giving this approval. We are equally grateful to the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Obinna Oriaku; he is a good man.
“We also, thank our CMD who led us to that fight and… We are really grateful to them.”