Ondo doctors begin strike over half salary
Written by MaryGift Sunday on February 3, 2021
Doctors in the employ of the Ondo State Government have begun an indefinite strike over payment of 50 per cent salary for November 2020.
Organised labour in the state last week agreed to collect half salary as well as adopt the model in use by Local Government/SUBEB for future salary payment.
This was after Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu said borrowing to augment payment of salary was no longer sustainable.
Head of Service Oluwadare Aragbaiye displayed federal allocation receipts for December 2020, but shared in January 2021, in which the state allocation for December was N2.3billion after deductions of government obligations, whereas total gross salary (net + deductions) payable to all categories of workers summed up to N5.21billion.
But the doctors, under the auspices of Ondo Government Doctors Forum (OGDF), said they were not carried along by organised labour in reaching the deal.
They said they were not members of organised labour, but professional bodies.
Spokesman for the OGDF, Dr. Omolayo Olubosede, said after an emergency meeting of the forum that the doctors cannot survive on 50 per cent salary.
She said they had written to Governor Akeredolu to inform him of their plight, but did not get any response.
Olubosede said they would only call off the strike after payment of their salary arrears, appointment of more doctors to replace those that had left, implementation of Group Life Insurance, among others.
She appealed to the residents to show understanding during the strike.
Olubosede said: “The payment of half salary was insensitive and unfortunate in the middle of a pandemic, despite owing us four-month salary.
“Doctors in Ondo are working under harsh condition. We cannot work from home. It is unfathomable that we are being paid half salary. We are not insensitive to the hardship this action will bring. It is our hope that the government will get back to us.”
Acting Commissioner for Health Dr. JIbayo Adeyeye said the letter written by the doctors did not give any notice of strike.
Adeyeye said the government would engage the doctors so that they would return to work as soon as possible.