Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Osun doctors reject Aregbesola’s resumption order

Striking medical doctors in the employ of Osun state government have resolved to continue their industrial action despite a seven–day ultimatum issued by the state governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, ordering them to return to work.

Under the umbrella of Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), the association at a press conference yesterday held at the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) Teaching Hospital, Osogbo, said their action was just and would not be moved by the ultimatum and threat by the governor.
The President of the association, Dr Adeyink Olabisi Owolabi, who led other principal officers and members to the venue of the conference enumerated the sundry grievances including irregular payment of remuneration, introduction of arbitrary tax, withholding of substantial percentage of salaries, non-payment of special allowances among others.
Owolabi, while calling for understanding by citizens in the state on the strike, said the blame should be heaped on the government who allegedly refused to dialogue with the association on the contentious issues.
He said, “We had made efforts to meet with the State Governor, Deputy Governor, Chief of Staff, Speaker and members of the House of Assembly especially the House Committee on Health to discuss the various problems. We had also issued several ultimatums to the government but sadly enough, all these did not yield positive outcome’’.
He faulted the government on why medical doctors should differentiate themselves from the Memorandum of Understanding {MoU} signed with the government on modality for payment of salaries saying there was nowhere in the country where a union signed an MoU on behalf of professional medical practitioners.
The ARD chief who noted members of the association had endured hardship over the past three years on welfare matters alleged that government has continued to ignore the Federal Government approved CONMESS and Relativity payment to doctors in the hospital despite implementing the federal government tax for the salary scale in full.
“Let it be clear that no amount of intimidation or grandstanding will make us go back to work at our own peril and at the risk of mismanaging the good people of Osun state’’, he said.
The National Vice President of ARD, Dr Kolawole Olajide said he and others were in the state to meet with the government over the strike, said the meeting did not achieve the desired result pointing out that the national body would meet to discuss the way forward on the issue.
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