Health workers at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Ebute-Meta, Lagos, have urged the Federal Government to settle the dispute over non-payment of the 2013 and 2014 promotion arrears.
The FMC Chairman, Joint Health Sector Unions (JOHESU), Mr Shehu Sulaimon, made the plea yesterday on behalf of the workers at a rally in Lagos to press for payment of the arrears.
Sulaimon decried the attitude of the institution’s management on the workers’ demands for the payment of the promotion arrears.
“We went to Abuja with a delegation led by the management, but our discovery was stunning, it was a clear evidence that the promotion arrears had been paid.
“The revelation of the fact finding mission from the communiqué issued revealed insincerity on the part of the management. We are not happy with this, we need Federal Government’s intervention to help us out.
“When we got to Abuja, there was no proof of submission for the application of payment of promotion arrears, and no record was found at the budget office, they must have tampered with it.
“It was in Abuja that the management submitted another application since the one submitted earlier in 2013 dated July 11 could not be found. We allowed the new application because we don’t want to be seen as saboteurs in this struggle,” he said.
Also speaking, Mrs Blessing Israel, the Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), FMC Ebute-Meta chapter, called for probe.
“I was part of the team that went to Abuja, and with the report, it is only government that can ascertain the true position of things. The management is not sincere in this matter at all,” she said.
But in his reaction, Mr Henry Etim, the institution’s Director of Corporate Services, said that the management’s decision would be based on the report made by the Abuja delegation and signed by both parties.
Etim, who led the delegation to Abuja, said: “We will be guided by the report from Abuja after a management meeting. The report, in its entirety, must have addressed the issues raised by the union,” he said.
A fact-finding team was sent to Abuja to establish the true position on the development.
In a communiqué signed by the management and union leaders, the delegation was mandated to verify the status of the 2013 and 2014 promotion areas.
The delegation in its report said: “The list of parastatal agencies and ministries that have applied for the payment of 2013/2014 promotion arrears was sighted.
“Federal Medical Centre, Ebute-Meta, Lagos, was not on the list. In conclusion, the terms and references to obtain documented evidence as to the payment or otherwise of 2013/2014 promotion arrears could not be obtained due to bureaucratic dynamics.”