The National Association of Government General Medical and Dental Practitioners, Ondo State branch has issued a 14-day ultimatum to the State Government ahead of its planned industrial action.
This was contained in a statement by the association’s Chairman, Dr. Aina Oluwafemi, after the branch’s emergency meeting, made available to newsmen on Wednesday in Akure.
NAGGMDP is an affiliate of the Nigerian Medical Association, the umbrella body for all general duty doctors engaged by the state’s Ministry offer Health and Hospitals’ Management Board.
Others are the Ondo State Primary Health Care Development Board, Ondo State Contributory Health Commission and Ondo State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission.
The University of Medical Sciences Teaching Hospital Complexes completes the list.
The doctors said: “Government had, through official press release, social media, and circular to relevant government agencies announced the approval for immediate implementation, the payment of the 50 per cent basic salary as special COVID-19 hazard allowances, for all health workers, three months in the first instance.
“Government failed to implement the said pronouncements when the May salary was paid.
“Rather, doctors observed that their salaries were slashed in May.
“As much as 2.5 per cent of their consolidated basic salary was removed for reasons best known to the state government.”
The association said its members were expectedly disappointed, perplexed and in distraught as to why the State Government could subject them to such treatment.
“Doctors in Ondo State are, as we speak, angry and very low in spirit.”
The association also alleged that the state government was being insensitive to the welfare of its members in the state based on the above development.
It said: “Till date, the Ondo State Government has refused to implement the consequential adjustment of increment in minimum wage to doctors and other health workers.
“Whereas, other workers in the State have been enjoying the new minimum wage since January 2020.
“In the same vein, the government has also sought to divide the previously united body of doctors in the state by selectively implementing skipping, which is a regularised salary structure for health workers, to only doctors in the newly established UNIMEDTHC.
“To this end, the State Executive Council of our association had issued a 14-day ultimatum to the Ondo State Government, to tell us, why we have to part with 2.5 per cent of our basic salaries and the unsolicited deduction be refunded with immediate effect.
“We also demand to know the present situation of our ill- fated 50 per cent basic salary as special COVID-19 allowance and the modalities for the immediate implementation of the consequential adjustment of the increment in minimum wage.
“We also demand to know when our January 2017 salary arrears will be paid and also, the commencement of the regularisation of the skipping salary structure, for the Ondo State Doctors.”
The association’s executive said it would have no other choice than to abide by the decisions of its Congress if the state government should fail to meet its stated demands.