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Unpaid OAUTHC workers stage peaceful protest over 14-month salary arrears

By Jeleel Olawale

The Association of unpaid Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospital Complex (OAUTHC) workers, on Thursday, in Ile-Ife, staged a peaceful protest over unpaid 14-month salary.

The Coordinator of the group, Mr Samson Falope, told NewsDirect, on Thursday, in Ile-Ife, that the protest is basically to kick against the circular released by the management yesterday which stated among other things that their appointment was illegal.

The protesters carried placards with different inscriptions such as, “Say no to injustice,” “Okeniyi must go,” “Okeniyi pay our 14-month salary,” “Our demand is clear, pay our 14- month salary,” “You are such a wicked man.”

Falope said that some of them were employed from 2022 and their names were on their duty roster and fully engaged without pay.

“We tried our efforts to ensure that the salaries were paid but the management turned a deaf ear to it. People worked but were not being paid.

“We have been working day and night, some worked for weekends and were not paid.

“The Ministry of Health officials came to the institution for capturing, hoping that we would be paid but nothing of such happened,” he lamented.

According to him, “The present administration came up with a circular of sacking us which is not acceptable to us. Our demand is that we reject in its entirety the decision of the Okeniyi-led administration.

“We have not seen any circular emanating from the Federal Ministry of Health that indicated our sacking. Our salary is overdue and we have worked for about 14 to 15 months without pay.

“Our people are suffering, the management should pay us our salary. We will not leave here if our salary is not paid.

“The circular released by the hospital management on Wednesday is nothing but economical with the truth. We are calling on all well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the management to pay our salary before the institution is made ungovernable for them,” he reaffirmed.

Also, one of the victims, Samson Ogunleye, appointed as Higher Executive Officer, said that they did not come to damage property or cause any violence but to protest peacefully to demand for the payment of their salaries.

Ogunleye, adding that people were employed with their letter of appointment and worked for 14 and 15 Months respectively, urged federal government and hospital management to pay them their salaries.

According to him, they paid a medical fee of N50,000 and there was a committee sent from Abuja that came twice for screening of their certificate.

He stated that they wrote a letter to the Ministry of Health, promising they are coming, they gave us a 10 days ultimatum that lapsed last week.

“And we got a letter signed by the Acting Director of Administration, Mr O.O. Omonije through the CMD, Prof. John Okeniyi, that those that were recruited from 2022, their jobs remain illegal.

The release read: “In order to comply with the June 2022 waiver as directed, only the categories of staff cited in the June, 2022 approved waiver from the Office of the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation as listed below would be considered for rigorous suitability test for employment with these cadres.

“The cadres for test are hospital Consultant, Registrar, Medical Officer, Pharmacist, Nursing Officer, Radiographer, Medical Laboratory Scientist, Physiotherapist, Dietician, Dental Technologist, Medical Laboratory Technologist/Technician, Assistant Technical Officer (Electrical and Biomedical among others

“Others are; Health Attendant, Administrative Officer, Accountant, Health Records Officer, Health Records Technologist/Technician, Assistant Catering Officer, Programme/System Analyst, Motor Driver/Mechanic, Assistant Craftsman.”

When contacted, the Public Relations Officer of the institution, Miss Kemi Fasoto, said that the management is waiting for the directive of the Minister of Health and social welfare on the issue.

Recall that the management of the institution in a circular released on Wednesday, titled; “Re: Implementation of the Year 2022 Approved Waiver,” with reference no: OAUTHC/160/VOLII/272 and signed by Mr O.O. Omonije, Acting Director of Administration.

The release directed that any person or group not cited on the list are advised to cease from conducting or parading themselves as staff of Obafemi Awolowo University Teaching Hospitals Complex, Ile-Ife.

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