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Strike paralyses activities at Enugu federal psychiatric hospital

ENUGU—ON-GOING industrial action by workers of the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital, Enugu has crippled activities at the hospital, leaving patients stranded.

 

UNN JAC Chairman, Paul Arua Addressing Students during the protest.

When Vanguard visited the hospital Monday, it was deserted, as workers have complied with the strike declared by the Joint Health Sector Union, JOHESU.

Only few senior medical officials and security were seen at the hospital as at the time of filing this report.

The indefinite strike, which resumed 12 midnight last Thursday is over non-payment of salary and other arrears.

Mr. Ben Asogwa, chairman, Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professionals and Secretary, Trade Union Congress, TUC, Enugu State Chapter, while addressing the workers at a pre-strike rally, said they had exhausted all avenues for dialogue to no avail.

He said they had no choice than to down tools pending when all their salary arrears were paid to the last kobo.

This followed alleged refusal of the Medical Director, Dr. Jojo Onwukwe to accede to the request of the workers despite the requisite notice given to him.

The workers JOHESU had earlier issued a 21-day ultimatum to the management of the hospital over a litany of issues.

This was followed by another 7-day ultimatum, which has also expired.

JOHESU’s ultimatum borders on withheld salaries and arrears from February 2017 till date; withheld promotion arrears, withheld teaching allowance and enrollment of the hospital into the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System, IPPIS.

The ultimatum was signed by Comrades Ozurumba Anthony, Onu Bank-Anthony, Sims Nwagwu, Ugwu Eric. A. Eze Mathew and Oduru Friday on behalf of the JOHESU affiliate bodies.

The ultimatum was followed by another one, University Graduates of Nursing Science Association, UGONSA, signed by its president, Chief S.E.O Egwuenu and the secretary, Nurse Goodluck Nshi.

The group alleged  there was escalating rascality, highhandedness, corruption and abuse of civil service rules by the medical director.

According to the group, “the current situation in the hospital if not checked will result in a breach of peace and a breakdown of law  and order.”

They said peace would not return to the hospital without the immediate implementation of the report of a panel earlier sent to the hospital by the minister.


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