By Ikhili Ebalu, Benin City
Not less than 2,500 members of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) Branch on Wednesday embarked on a peaceful protest rally to demand the release of their salaries for the months of April and May 2018.
The salaries of the JOHESU workers were withheld following the federal government’s no work no pay policy.
while appealing to the federal government to approve the union’s demands, JOHESU chairman of the University of Benin Branch , Comrade Frank Igbinovia who led other members of the Union called on the Minister of Health, Prof Isaac Adewole to immediately intervene in the issues raised to avert a headlong industrial action.
Igninovia spoke during a protest rally across major streets in Benin city where its members brandished various placards with inscription such as “Pay us our April and May 2018 salaries”,”Stop the discrimination against Health professionals”.
He said the over 2,500 members of the Union in the University of Benin Teaching Hospital make up 95 percent of the workforce providing healthcare services for the public.
Igbinovia added that the Union was determined to sustain the struggle for improved working condition and welfare of its members nationwide hence the Union commenced a three-day warning strike, starting from Monday, February 11 to end today Wednesday 13th ,February.
Igbinovia noted that the strike is a protest against the non-payment of salaries of the union’s members for the months of April and May 2018 amongst others.
“Our Members are aggrieved and have joined in the national directive of the Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) directing members to commence a three-day warning strike over payment of salaries beginning from on Monday, February 11, to February 13th today.”Igninovia said.
The health workers at the University of Benin Teaching Hospital came out in their numbers chanting solidarity songs to press home their demand for payment of the withheld April and May 2018 salary, which were withheld following the federal government’s no work no pay policy.
Other demands include, the upward adjustment of CONHESS Salary, non promotion of its members from CONHESS 14 to 15 as Directors in some federal health facilities and punitive measures against FMC Owerri staff members for exposing corrupt practices at the centre among other sundry matters.