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August 18, 2018

IMSUTH Orlu shutdown as crisis deepens

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The Medical and Health Workers Union, the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) in collaboration with the Association of Resident Doctors being the strong unions in the Imo State University Teaching Hospital (IMSUTH) Orlu on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 shutdown all the activities in the hospital by embarking on indefinite strike after the expiration of the deadline given to the management to clear their five months salary arrears.

The unions had three weeks ago issued a 21-day ultimatum to the management, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health and other relevant authorities in the state to clear their salary arrears and allowances. The Chairman Medical and Health Workers Union and Chairman Joint Health Sectors Union (JOHESU) IMSUTH Chapter, Comrade Francis Ezenwa, explained that the union in conjunction with the Association of Resident Doctors in the hospital led by their president, Dr. Bright Chukwunta had a meeting at the IMSUTH multi purpose hall, where they came up with a communiqué stating their grievances.

Comrade Ezenwa said they embarked on the protest on Monday, August 14, while waiting for the 21 days ultimatum to elapse before they take any other necessary action if the management remains adamant to their demands.

The 21 day ultimatum expired on Friday, September 1, 2017 but due to the public holiday declared by the Federal Government, the necessary action could not be taken.

The Chairman explained that since the past 22 months, the management was paying 70 percent of their salaries against 100 percent, adding that the last time they received their salaries was in April. The workers insist that the management must pay them their 100 percent 4 months arrears, from April to August and 18 months of 30 percent deducted from the previous months. “Every worker deserves his wages, even the Bible said it”, Ezenwa lamented.

He condemned the style of the management in running the affairs of the hospital and implored them to treat their staff as they would treat themselves and their families so as to restore the lost glory of the hospital. Others who spoke to The Leader confirmed that the hospital realizes sufficient income that can augment government’s subvention to pay 100 percent of their salaries like the past management did but wondered where the money has goes. The Unions on Tuesday draw the cutton on the activities in the hospital, while advising the patients to find alternative way for their treatment.

Meanwhile, the Chief Medical Director, Dr. Fredrick Anolue was alleged to have obtained a court injunction restraining the union from embarking on strike. But leaders of the unions  described the letter dated September 4 and delivered same day being public holiday as illegal, unconstitutional and unacceptable.


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