Activities were yesterday completely paralyzed at the Olabisi Onabanjo University Teaching Hospital (OOUTH), Sagamu, Ogun State as members of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) in the institution began an indefinite strike.
The Unions comprise the hospital’s Senior Staff Association, National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, Non-Academic Staff Union and the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria.
Among the demands of the aggrieved health workers were payment of an alleged 30 months increase of salary arrears, payment of counterpart fund on pension from the state government as well seeking an end to “unwholesome working condition in the institution”.
The Chairperson of JOHESU, Mrs. Enaholo Kikelomo, while speaking with newsmen on the strike put the total amount owed them at N1.3 billion, insisting that they would not go back to work until government meets their demands.
She added that the unions were also demanding for “accelerated promotion” of their members as well as payment of their 2011 March salary.
She alleged that the hospital lacks basic amenities like water and electricity pointing out that this has led the hospital to record avoidable deaths in recent times.
When contacted for comment, the State Commissioner for Health, Dr. Olaokun Soyinka simply said “We are trying to do everything to improve the situation at the hospital so this (strike) does not help the matter”.
“We wish to state that we are not politicians, we have been pushed to the wall. We will like to meet the Governor himself to discuss our grievances, we are ready to negotiate with him the condition for payment,” Kikelomo stated.