Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Nurses in the employ of the Ondo State Government owned University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital, Akure, on Thursday protested against the nonpayment of thier five months salary arrears.
The nurses, carrying placards with various inscriptions, condemned the State Government’s response on their plight.
One of the protesters who spoke on condition of anonymity said: ‘From June 2019, some nurses were employed in batches due to shortage of members of staff. Following the employment, the newly employed nurses saw themselves working for six months, five months, four months and three months depending on the batch of employment they belonged to without being paid.
‘These nurses were there during the outbreak of Lassa fever and the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in the State and they risked their lives despite not being paid.
‘Shortly after, the salaries started being paid haphazardly with a month salary paid after every two to three months. So, many of these professional nurses had to start borrowing to even get to work and meet up with other needs.
‘As it stands now, five months salaries are still being owed without any hope of being paid. All their efforts to demand for their salaries were sabotaged. Worthy of note is that a good number of these new nurses tested positive for COVID-19 despite not being renumerated. Asides these, the single and double qualified nurses in the same institution experienced massive salary slashes earlier this year,’ the protester said.
The protesters called on the State Government to pay their salaries through the central account.
‘This is greatly needed because the UNIMEDTHC management keep faulting the release of subventions by the government,’ the protester who spoke to Daily Sun added.
The nurses demanded the prompt payment of all outstanding salaries and arrears, regularisation of the slashed salaries, provision of Personal Protective Equipments (PPE) and adequate equipments to work with.