Abia Health Workers Protest Over Unpaid 6 Months Salaries
Abia State health workers have locked the gate leading into their premises to protest the non payment of their six months’ salaries by the state government on Friday.
Speaking with newsmen in Umuahia, the Secretary Joint Action Committee of all Labour Unions, Mbanefo Ifeanyi, said that the state government was owing health workers in the state six months’ salaries.
Ifeanyi said that the union had written to the state Commissioner for Health over the issue, including the inability of the government to pay the stipulated minimum wage and Consolidated Health Salary Structure [CONHESS].
He also said that the present administration has refused to look into the disparity in the salary structure.
He said, “We also want the state government to restore the night allowances which has been stopped for a long time now.”
Ifeanyi said that they want the state government to also pay the arrears of their CONHESS which had been approved by the immediate past administration and “has been wasting away on the desk of the health commissioner.”
Ifeanyi said, “The commissioner who got wind of our planned protest got back to us that Governor Okezie Ikpeazu has approved the payment of two months’ salary, but as we speak nothing has been paid to us which made us to embark on the protest.”
Reacting to the issue, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, Nkwachukwu Agomuo, said that government was working hard to clear the arrears of salaries of the health workers.
Agomuo said that the workers are being owed for five months and not six months, stressing that the state governor has directed that the ministry ensured that the workers are paid.
The permanent secretary said that the issue of CONHESS was purely a labour matter.
“We are not going to touch that area until the issue of ghost workers is sorted out completely. “There are issues that need to be sorted out like some workers who are not health workers but because they are working in that ministry want to be paid CONHESS,’’ he said.