Mon. Mar 1st, 2021

Ondo doctors commence indefinite strike over payment of half salary

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Victoria Ogunrinde

Ondo State Doctors have begun an indefinite strike action over payment of 50 percent salary for the month of November, 2020

Organised labour in the state had last week agreed to collect the half salary as well as adopt the model in use by Local Government/SUBEB for future salary payment.

This was after the state Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu said borrowing to augment payment of salary was no longer sustainable in the state.

However, the Ondo state Head of Service, Oluwadare Aragbaiye, displayed Federal Allocation receipts for the month of December, 2020 but shared in January 2021 in which the state allocation for the month of December was N2.3bn after deductions of government obligations whereas total gross salary (Net + deductions) payable to all categories of workers summed up to N5.21bn.

But the doctors under the auspices of Ondo Government Doctors Forum (OGDF) said they were not carried along by organised labour in reaching the deal adding that they were not members of organised labour in the state but professional bodies.

The Spokesman for the OGDF, Dr. Omolayo Olubosede, who spoke after an emergency meeting of the forum said doctors cannot survive on 50 percent salary.

Dr. Olubosede said they have earlier written to Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu intimating him of their plight but did not get any response.

Olubosede stated that they would only resume work after payment of all salary arrears owed them, appointment of more doctors to replace those that left, implementation of Group Life Insurance amongst others.

“The payment of half salary was insensitive and unfortunate in the middle of a pandemic despite owing us four months.

“Doctors in Ondo are working under harsh condition. We cannot work from home. It is unfathomable that we are being paid half salary. We are not insensitive to the hardship this action will bring. It is our hope that the government get back to us,” she said.

Olubosede thereby appealed to residents in the state to understand their plight during the period of the strike

Acting Commissioner for Health, Dr. JIbayo Adeyeye, said the letter written by the doctors did not give any notice of strike.

Dr. Adeyeye stated that the state government would engage the doctors so they would return to work as soon as possible.

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