Employees of the Abia State University Teaching Hospital Aba, ABSUTH have commenced another round of strike less than two months after Resident Doctors of the institution suspended their over two years of industrial action, after being paid about seven months of the over two-years’ salary arrears.
However, their counterparts from other sectors, including consultants, nurses and allied medical staff on Thursday November 17th, announced the withdrawal of their services, citing the failure of the Abia state government to extend to them the same gesture which it showed to the resident doctors.
“The issue at stake now is that our members are not happy with the situation at hand. When the resident doctors were on strike for almost two years, staff from other departments at least in order not to allow the system to be completely shut down, decided to call off their own strike. But we were surprised that the government decided to pay the resident doctors 7 months salaries and paid others, who assisted to keep the system running only one month. This is not fair and just. Besides, it is a kind of divide and rule tactics. So, it is in view of this situation that our members have decided to withdraw their services”, comrade Godson Nwaoha, Joint Action Committee Secretary JAC told the press.
Those who have decided to embark on the renewed industrial action include the Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives, Senior Staff Association of Universities Teaching Hospitals Research Institutes and Associated Institutions.
Comrade Nwaoha, who said that the strike action which commenced effective November 4, would not be called off until other workers are paid the same number of months of salaries as the resident doctors.
It will be recalled that in the middle of this year, ABSUTH, had lost accreditation for some of its academic programmes, partly due to issues related to staff salaries. As at the time of filing this report last Thursday, the accreditation was yet to be restored.