JUTH workers stage sit-at-work strike over non-payment of salaries

Workers of the Jos University Teaching Hospital (JUTH), Plateau State, have embarked on a sit-at-work strike to protest the non-payment of their June salaries.

A News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) correspondent, who visited the hospital on Monday, reported that the workers came to their working place but merely sat down and did not resume duties.

NAN observed that the workers signed the attendance register at the hospital but were not attending to patients.

Speaking with NAN, Mr Samfi Kesuwo, secretary, Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU), JUTH chapter, said that they embarked on the strike on Friday to press home their demand for payment of the June salaries.

“We just come to work and sit down doing nothing. We wonder why only 394 members of staff were paid, out of the 2,094 workers.

“Although, we are yet to be addressed by  the management over why we were not paid, rumours have it that it was a system failure from IPPIS.

“But it is amazing to us that the system recognised only Heads of Departments and the Chief Medical Director (CMD)’s loyalists and paid them.

“The burning question is, how did the system recognised the CMD’s loyalists and the heads of the departments?”

He said that the workers would continue with the strike until their salaries were paid.

Reacting to the development, the CMD, Prof essor Edmund Banwat, attributed the non-payment of salaries of most of the workers to “an error from the IPPIS”.

“An error occurred on the IPPIS platform in the course of the payment.

“The management of the IPPIS admitted that error and promised to rectify it immediately after the Sallah break but the break was extended, leaving them with only Friday to carry out the rectification.

“Unfortunately, we woke up that Friday to find the gates and offices locked by the workers over the non-payment of salaries.

“IPPIS is in Abuja but the workers are venting their anger on us here.

“There is nothing we can do outside pleading with the workers to just wait for IPPIS to rectify the issues,” he said.

Banwat said he just confirmed that the issues had been resolved while payment would soon begin.

“We expect many workers to get their alerts this afternoon. I already have that assurance from the IPPIS and the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN),” he said.

Banwat dismissed the allegation that he selected those to be paid and those to be left out.

“We do not control IPPIS pay platform, it is not an internal issue. It was just an error which IPPIS has admitted and already correcting,” he said.