…calls on Soludo to come to the rescue of health workers at COOUTH
Leadership of Nigerian Union of Allied Health Profssionals (NUAHP), Anambra State Chapter has warned that its members at Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University Teaching (COOUTH), Awka, would embark on indefinite strike November 29, unless their demands are met.
Chairman of NUAHP, Mr Charles Nwoye who issued the warning on Sunday in Nnewi, hinted that COOUTH Chapter had severally shifted the strike following government’s interventions which, he however said did not yield positive result.
He said COOUTH members were marginalized and neglected in terms of welfare and condition of service, including human right issues they were grappling with.
He maintained that the workers would not shift ground anymore, appealing to Governor Chukwuma Soludo to intervene and rescue the situation.
He said, “We have the issue of non regularization of some workers who were staff of the defunct general hospital which was later taken over by the COOUTH under former Governor Peter Obi’s administration.
“You have the staff of the Ministry of Health who were there before the COOUTH started operation. They were the foundational staff of the hospital. When the general hospital was taken over, some of the staff were given the option of leaving or continuing with the teaching hospital.
“Some agreed to stay back to help build the teaching hospital. The hospital has been built but those who helped in that process for many years have been left at the working condition and welfare standard of the Ministry of Health. This is not the same as what obtains at the teaching hospital.
“They are receiving their remuneration from the Ministry while the teaching hospital employs staff and place them ahead of those already there.
“This is a situation where you have a professional who comes in and becomes a senior in terms of placement to the person employed earlier.
” A younger person will come and be placed on a better scale than someone who is supposed to be his senior.”
According to Nwoye, the matter had been brought to the notice of the Chief Medical Director of the COOUTH, Dr. Joe Akabuike who he alleged had done nothing to address the problem.
“The Commissioner for Health, Secretary to the State Governement and the Deputy Governor are all aware of the union members’ demand.
“The November 29 ultimatum when the strike will begin remained sacrosanct, barring Governor Soludo’s intervention.
“The patience of health workers, health professionals and our understanding should not be taken for granted.
“We value the lives of the patients and that has been our restraint but we will have no other option than to embark on the strike, if our requests and demand are not addressed.
“We have been shifting ground to see that the State governement is given all the opportunity, all the time to meet with the demand which is very necessary, rightful and due to our members, ” he added.
Among the complaints of the workers is that the Anambra State governement has not started paying the adjusted 2014 Consolidated Health Salary Structure (CONHESS).
The Chairman said the State still paid 80 percent of the CONHESS against 100 percent as promised.
“We are calling on our revered Governor, Professor Charles Soludo to come to the rescue of health workers at COOUTH.
“Right now, another ultimatum has been given because we were promised that the Governor was going to address our matter in no distant time twenty four days ago when this strike was to commence. We shifted the action to allow for a peaceful resolution. Another extension was given which expires on November 29.
“As a State Chairman, I’m pleading with the Govenor to quickly intervene, ” he concluded.