The Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU) in Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado-Ekiti, has issued a 7-day ultimatum to the management of the hospital to reverse the sack of its members and meet other union’s demands or face industrial action.
The management had in a statement on the New Year eve by the Head, Corporate Affairs, Mrs Rolake Adewumi, said it disengaged ghost workers and others with records of misconduct and sundry of allegations in consonance with the report of Prof. Ebun Adejuyigbe-led visitation panel to the hospital, which was released as white paper by the government.
JOHESU said the mass disengagement of its members without following due process was antithetical to the operational rules and regulations of the public service, describing such as outright illegality and a process that lacks merit.
JOHESU is made up of three registered unions in health sector namely, Nigeria Union of Allied Health Professional, Medical and Health Workers Union of Nigeria, National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Senior Staff Association of Universities, Health Professionals, Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institution.
The Union, in a letter dated January 2, 2020, and addressed to the EKSUTH’S Chief Medical Doctor which was jointly signed by the NUAHP Chairman, Com. Farotimi Omotola, his counterpart in NANNM Chairman, Com. Mondi Kehinde and MHUN Chairman, Com. Olaiya Mary was obtained by Nigerian Tribune on Sunday in Ado-Ekiti.
The JOHESU Chairman, Omotola, noted that the unions deemed the letter highly expedient, to set the record straight in its members’ welfare and remind the hospital management of the state of things in EKSUTH.
She, however, stressed the need for the immediate reversal of the unlawful mass disengagement of its members from service, saying failure to accede to its request within the stipulated time will result in industrial action.
The letter read in part: “It is expedient to forward this letter at this junction in order to remind the management about what we have been passing through in the hospital.
“The union wants to use this medium to reiterate and highlight some of our agitations that needed urgent and immediate attention without delay which includes;
“Immediate reversal of the appointment of our members who were disengaged from service without following Public Service Rules.
“Payment of outstanding cooperative and union dues deduction up-to-date which has accrued to the tune of N600,000,000.
“Up-to-date payment of promotion arrears and conduct of outstanding promotion interview and immediate implementation of same
“And payment of 10% employer counterpart of pension fund since January 2016 and if not the management should stop further deduction of employees contribution immediately. The pension act does not in any way support the current practice of EKSUTH as the employer.
“On this note, we are putting it to the management that if the aforementioned are not met within the stipulated time, we cannot guarantee continuous industrial harmony in the hospital,” he said.
Meanwhile, the EKSUTH management has recalled some of the workers that were disengaged from the hospital.
In a statement by the Head, Corporate Affairs Department, Mrs Rolake Adewumi, on Sunday in Ado Ekiti, the hospital management said the categories of affected workers that were recalled were “those who still have few years to retire from the service that were involved.
“This group of people were actually given the option of voluntary retirement and a fast-track processing of all entitlements. However, the ultimate decision rests with the individual staff affected. Then, there were some people that were employed during the process of accreditation; we asked those that were involved among them to come back.
“The management has made it clear that the speculation that 200 workers were involved is not true. Just a few people were involved. The numbers being brandished were speculations and sensationalism. No list was prepared or made available anywhere, so if any list is published it did not emanate from the Hospital. The management is mindful of individual staff integrity and this is being carefully safeguarded.
“It is not a closed case, it is not a vindictive nor witch-hunting exercise. The management had stated earlier that any affected worker with any complaint should make it known to her which they have been doing. Each case will be treated on its own merit. In light of this, we are looking into all their issues critically.
“The management is ready to listen to anybody that is having any complaint as earlier said to redress the situation as may be necessary,” she said.
Adewumi, however, said there was no way the management could reverse the disengagement of some categories of affected workers.
According to her, such included “those who did not appear during the human resources audit and who have not shown up till now and those with cases of misconduct in their records cannot come back.
“Those who were not employed properly through the due process cannot be recalled. Also, those who went on leaves of absence either with or without pay and did not come back after the expiration of the leave of absence cannot be asked to come back to work,” she said.