By Rose Ofem and Martha Abua
The Association of Resident Doctors in the University of Calabar Teaching Hospital (ARD-UCTH) has embarked on a week-long warning strike following the failure of the institution’s management to pay it salary arrears.
The warning strike is the result of the resolution of the general meeting of the association held on November 2, 2018 following the expiry of a 21 day ultimatum issued to the hospital’s management on October 12, 2018.
A communique issued by the association had said the emergency general meeting presided over by the president, Dr. Antigha Cobham had resolved that: “A 3 days notice of commencement of a seven days warning strike be issued to management,” with effect from November 2, 2018.
The association also resolved that upon the, “expiration of notice; a 7 days warning strike shall be embarked upon by the association of resident doctors, UCTH, Calabar beginning 8 AM Monday 5th November, 2018,” adding that: “Congress will reconvene at the expiration of 7 days warning strike to appraise progress made by management in resolving all heightened issues.”
The resolutions, according to the communique were based on the observations that the out-gone house officers were yet to receive the 25 percent August 2017 shortfall arrears and July 2017 arrears being owed them; that registrars and medical officers who did not receive the 25 percent August 2017 shortfall arrears are yet to be paid the said arrears and that the present set of house officers are still being owed a backlog of three to four months’ salary arrears.
The congress had also observed that, “the response from management contained in the internal memo from the CMAC dated 30th October, 2018 did not give specific timelines as to when the salary arrears were going to be paid,” and noted the, “poor working conditions in the hospital with respect to power supply, inadequate security and poor hygienic conditions around certain areas of the hospital and the absence for many months of food for residents who take calls.”
Also, the congress appealed the UCTH management to expedite efforts aimed at resolving the contending issues in order to sustain industrial harmony within the institution.
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