Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Medical Doctors under the umbrella of Association of Resident Doctors, Federal Capital Territory (FCT) chapter, (ARD-FCT) have threatened to commence indefinite strike from September 1 over unfair labour treatment by the FCT Administration.
The doctors have observed that despite timelines and promises made by the FCT Administration in regard to the payment of COVID-19 hazard and inducement allowances within the period of the issued ultimatum, the allowances are yet to be paid to healthcare workers in the various FCT hospitals and the COVID-19 isolation and treatment centres.
ARD-FCT President Dr Roland Aigbovo, in a statement on Monday, explained that the decision to embark on the indefinite strike was taken at the emergency general meeting of the FCT chapter of ARD, held in Abuja on Monday.
Dr Aigbovo stated that the doctors were unhappy that FCT Administration has displayed a high level of insensitivity to the plight of the Resident Doctors, a situation which has left the doctors with the only option of strike.
‘Having put into cognisance previous failed promises and widespread agitations among our members in the various FCT hospitals and workers in the isolation and treatment centres, we regret to notify the FCT administration and Nigerians that we would embark on industrial action with effect from 1st September, 2020, until the payment of the COVID-19 hazard and inducement allowance is received,’ Dr Aigbovo stated.
‘Our members must also confirm receipt of the variation of the 2018 promotion exercise implemented after which an emergency meeting will be conveyed to review the situation. We regret any inconveniences this might cause the public that might need healthcare delivery during this period.
‘We implore the administration to as a matter of urgency, look into other myriads of problems raised in our earlier communication to the administration dated 14th August, 2020, so as to maintain industrial peace and harmony in the health sector.’
He added that ‘for the purposes of clarity, the doctors are unhappy with inability of FCT Administration to pay promotion arrears of 2016, 2017 and 2018 promotion exercise, non-payment of rural allowances, non-remittance of third party deductions (pensions, National Housing Fund and Association Dues), non-payment of outstanding 1st 28 days allowance, and non-payment of balance of skipping arrears.’
Dr Aigbovo noted that the above listed problems, if not given the desired attention, are capable of severing the good intentions of FCT Minister, Muhammad Bello, in addressing the plight of the FCT workforce.