Union locks out Abia health management board over arrears of salaries
Posted by News Express | 19 July 2021 | 92 times
By EMEKA OKAFOR, Umuahia
Joint Union of Staff working under the Abia State Health Management Board (HMB) Friday morning locked out their top management personnel over arrears of 16 months’ salary and vowed to continue with their protest until the state complies with an earlier agreement it signed for the payment of three months to clear the accumulated arrears.
The staff who converged to protest under the Joint Union within the State Government Agency that comprised Chairmen of Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, Nigeria Civil Service Union, among others, defied the early morning heavy rainfall to stage the protest.
Daily Independent reports that the protesting workers had locked the entrance gate into the premises of the agency at about 8:12 a.m. and stopped movement into the premises while placards were pasted on the entrance gate to express their grievances to the state government.
Some of the placards pasted at the entrance gate had different inscriptions that read, “HMB Workers are dying of Hunger, Pay Us Now,” “Abia State Please Our Children are Out from School Due to Non-payment of School Fees,” “Pay Us Our 16 Months Arrears.”
It was observed that while the workers staged the protest, some emissaries from the Chief Executive of the Agency, Dr. Christopher Aharauwa, arrived and began to appeal to the workers to call off their protest with the firm promise that the management has received commitment from the state government to start payments of their arrears, an appeal the workers rejected and demanded that they would not accept one month salary payment rather, the government should pay them two months upwards.
However, our correspondent who witnessed the protest, revealed that none of the Joint Union leaders that called out the workers were present within the vicinity while the protesting workers staged the protest, as it was gathered that they had gone to effect the lock down of the Board’s zonal offices in Abia and Ohafia.
When contacted on his cell phone number on Friday evening, the state Chairman of Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, Comrade Okoro Ogbonna, said the protest by the workers of the health agency was as a result of the breach of agreement reached between the leaders of the Health Unions in the state.
“We are not happy that the state government has not been able to keep to the signed agreement especially on the arrears of salaries owed to the HMB staff and others in other state government tertiary health institutions and agencies.” (Daily Independent)
Source: News Express
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