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Ondo doctors begin warning strike, issue ultimatum on demands

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Management pledges speedy interventions

Resident doctors at Ondo State University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital Complex (UNIMEDTHC), Akure Annex, have begun a three-day warning strike over unpaid salaries.

The resident doctors in Akure and Ondo complexes of the teaching hospital simultaneously began the warning strike to press home their grievances over four months’ salary arrears.

They, however, issued a five-day ultimatum to the state government till Sunday to pay their backlog of salaries before embarking on an indefinite industrial action.

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Leader of the resident doctors, Dr. Taiwo Olagbe, while addressing journalists in Akure, yesterday, warned that if the state government failed to pay the backlog of four months salaries, they would embark on indefinite strike starting from Monday next week.

He said: “Our situation has reached the crescendo that we have to ventilate our matter to the people of the state and well-meaning Nigerians who can talk to the power-that-be to come and do something before the whole situation escalates.

“We can’t be subjected to mental torture when it comes to issue of our salaries. As we are talking today being November 2, 2020, we are being owed four months’
salaries.

“We keep asking ourselves if this is how we are going to continue in this vicious circle?”

Meanwhile, a senior management officer of the hospital, Dr. Adesina Akintan, has assured the protesting doctors that the management was making moves to payment their salaries.

Akintan, who deputises as the Chief Medical Director (CMD), attributed irregular and poor payment of salaries at the teaching hospital to paucity of funds.

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“I am not representing the government of Ondo State, but I will speak on behalf of the local management of UNIMEDTH. It is not a happy thing that salaries are not regular.

“We equally know that the challenge we face as a country, as a state and as a local management is paucity of funds. I am not speaking for government, but we all know the economic reality of the day is that funds are scarce.

“But that does not mean that salaries should not be paid. What I can tell you is that government and the management have been working very hard.”He, however, assured that the backlog would soon be paid as the management was working with government on how to get money to pay the salaries.

“As a matter of fact, the plan to mainstream your salaries has been receiving attention and I know too that that process is about to be completed.”

“I know that is a long-term solution to the issue of irregular salary payment. For short term the management is working to get fund to begin to pay these backlog,” he said.

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