The Association of Resident Doctors (ARD), Abuja chapter, has announced that all medical doctors under aegis of the umbrella body nationwide would commence an industrial action in protest of an alleged refusal by government to pay medical workers salaries for over two months.
According to the association, the federal government owed doctors salaries, and explained that such had caused financial distress for its members and which had necessitated its move to embark on industrial action in a bid to convey their grievances to the government with hopes that the right thing would be done.
President of the association, Roland Aigbovo, stated that the body had made several moves to iniate dialogue with the government, all of which he alleged had been thwarted, and that it had also issued several strike warnings and ultimatums with hope that such would yield government response, but nothing had been done.
Aigbovo, through a statement released on Tuesday to signal beginning of the protest, revealed that the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) administration owed more than two months salaries which it was yet to pay to doctors and medical workers in its employ.
He reiterated that the union’s move was not aimed at creating inconvenience for the public, but to ensure that government placed premium on welfare of its medical staff and paid salaries which had been accrued over past months.
The union leader explained that the decision to embark on an indefinite industrial action had been extensively discussed and deliberated upon, especially in light of recent coronavirus realities, but that considerations for health threat posed to doctors in line of duty and prevalent adverse working conditions had driven the decision home for the association.
“There have been salary irregularities and shortfalls since the migration to the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System by the FCTA. We Doctors have complained about the adverse working conditions several times and have goen as far as issue ultimatums to Government for these existing issues to be looked into. However, nothing has been done, no response has been given, our members are being owed months of salaries for work already done. This is highly unfair,”
Aigbovo noted that other health workers were also affected by the salary shortfalls and that they were expected to join in inductrial mass action in 48 hours, if their demands were not met by government.