The mood at the Federal Neuropsychiatric Hospital Enugu was very tense today as the management of the hospital led by the Medical Director, Dr. Jojo Onwuekwe unleashed actions best described as tyrannical on the members of the Joint Health Sector Union (JOHESU) who commenced an indefinite strike action to agitate for many anomalies in the hospital.
A staff of the hospital spoke exclusively and anonynously to HealthNewsNG.com. The staff who is also a first witness to the whole incident said JOHESU embarked on the strike for many reasons including:
Non payment of 2013, 2014 promotion arrears
Undue delay of 2015 promotion exercise
Non payment of teaching allowance from May 2014 till date
Stepping down Medical laboratory Scientists from Conhess 8 2 to Conhess 7 2
Deduction of N30,000 from 2013 set of Medical Laboratory Scientists intakes (This is excluding deduction of taxation and other sundries from their salaries).
Double taxation of staff
Delays in paying salaries including May salary.
Unpaid debt to the cooperative society to the tune of N60 Million from January 2014 till date.
Unavailability of steady water and power in the hospital.
Not providing feeding for Medical Laboratory Scientists and Pharmacists on 24 hours non stop call duty.
Suspension, demotion and interdiction of Union members.
Unavailability of work materials including drugs for pharmacy and reagents for the laboratory.
Selective sponsorship of staff to international conferences and workshops.
Denial of sponsorship for Johesu members to such conferences and even local annual conferences and workshops.
No annual salary increment for staff from 2014 till date as all hospital staff have been on same step from 2014 till date.
They are also calling for the retirement of the MD as he is sixty-one years old.
According the eye witness, trouble started when union members were trying to ensure that their members comply with the agreed strike action. The hospital management through one their loyalist hired some irresponsible young men to attack the union members. The loyalist called Afam is also alleged to be practicing as a nurse illegally as he is not registered with the nursing and midwivery council of Nigeria. He is alleged to have brought the hired tugs with the help of one Eze Chidiebere from the pharmacy department and a former chairman of the Senior Staff Union of the hospital.
Our source said the hoodlums attacked the union chairman, broke his head with an axe which resulted in his loosing consciousness before we was rushed to another hospital.
The New Heaven police is also accused of being complicit in the whole matter as they were present when the chairman was attacked. A senior officer allegely shot at a staff carrying placard and not armed. The police officer was reported as being loyal to the MD because he helped his wife secure employment at the hospital.
The hoodlums were about 20 in number while the policemen numbered close to 30 did not do anything meaningful to stop them from.
The eyewitness emotionally descried what happened as very tragic and terrible.
Source: Health News