The Chief Medical Director (CMD) of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (UCTH) has appealed to the Association of Resident Doctors of the hospital to immediately call off the current strike embarked upon by the union.
Dr. Thomas Agan added that considering their importance to the health sector, the union should put the interest of the patient above all other interests and resume their duties while awaiting the release of overhead cost by the Federal Government to meet their demands.
Speaking to the media at the premises of the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Dr Agan maintained that the resident doctors are, among other demands, requesting for the implementation of their sponsorship arrears from 2012, utility arrears, upgrading and automatic stepping of their trainings.
The CMD affirmed that although the striking doctors had given management a 21-day ultimatum which ended on Wednesday, July 1 before embarking on the strike, the management was constrained on immediately meeting their demands due to inadequate funds resulting from the non-release of overhead cost by the Federal Government.
President of the Association, Dr. Ukeh Ikechukwu, sued for transparency on the part of all stakeholders involved in the health sector as regards meeting their demands for the safety of millions of lives who are in desperate need of health care services.
Lecturers of the Edo State owned College of Education, now Tayor Akpata University of Education, Ekiadolor have resumed their suspended strike.
The resumption of the strike, which is allegedly related to unpaid salary arrears and alleged victimisation of their union members, became a bad news for the students who said they had barely settled down for lectures after almost a year of staying away from school.
In the meantime, the provost of the College, Professor Amen Uhunwangho, said the latest strike was uncalled for, as the government was doing everything possible to meet its obligations to the lecturers.
A public Service Negotiator, Sylvester Ejiofor on Thursday described the ongoing strike by different unions in the country as “relatively not much” compared to the problems the country is battling with.
He however noted that he is not “promoting anarchy as such; but you realize that strikes are vivid manifestation of discontentment” adding that when a “society suffers from social tension; it impacts on the lives of people in a work place”.
He also praised the “tolerant” attitude of Nigerians in their reactions to such social tension and deprivation.
Ejiofor said the strike is as a result of the government’s “inability to apply implementation” not “inability to reach an agreement” insisting that “there is a lag somewhere”.
He further made comparisons between workers on the public and private workers.
The Executive Director of Grassroots Watch, Adeola Soetan has said that the irresponsibility of the Federal Government was what caused the series of industrial actions in Nigeria.
Mr Soetan, who was a guest on Channels Television’s programme, Sunrise Daily, said that strikes by workers or union is recognised legitimately all over the world and that no labour leader will take the action as an option of first choice.
Though the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) just called off a three-day warning strike several other employee of the government including teachers in the Universities and Polytechnics have down tools owing to unresolved disagreements.
Mr Soetan said for any union to embark on a strike, it simply shows the irresponsibility on the part of its employer because the action is not something easy to plan.
He said other options would have been considered to reach a compromise with the government, hence his reason for hinting that no labour leader would resort to strike action as an option of first choice.
He said, “It shows total irresponsibility on the part of government, because strike is not easy to plan, it’s not a child’s play.
“For any labour leader, they want an option of least cost because to plan a strike action, you hold meetings, organise campaigns, meet up with management and government, you also have to get support and legitimacy from all you councils at different levels.”