Amidst apprehension over increasing cases of coronavirus (Covid-19), the Association of Resident Doctors, FCT chapter, (ARD-FCT) have begun an indefinite strike over unfair labour treatment by FCT Administration.
The doctors, however, declared that other health unions in Abuja has also concluded plans to join the industrial action, probably, in the next 48 hours to amplify the call for FCT Administration to attend to their needs.
ARD-FCT President, Dr. Roland Aigbovo, told journalists in Abuja, on Tuesday, that the solidarity support from other health unions was to press on FCT Administration to attend to the needs of the resident doctors.
He was unhappy that FCT Administration has deliberately or otherwise displayed a high level of insensitivity to the plight of the resident doctors which left the doctors with the only option of the strike.
He said: “Our members are in deep financial distress due to non-payment of our salaries. We had waited, patiently, till the end 2019 and 2020 New Year celebration till the third week of February, only for us to receive a paltry sum of money as January salary.
“The money received by our members ranges from one-fifth to one-tenth tenths of our salary with the exclusion of the newly employed members who have not been paid for about five to seven months.
“Arising from our first quarter ordinary general meeting which held on the 24th of February, a 14-day ultimatum was issued to the FCT Administration to resolve the issues but that has not been done.
“The 14 days ultimatum lapsed on Friday 6th of March, and a 7-day extension was granted by the Congress of our Association at an emergency general meeting with the inclusion of the payments of February 2020 salary.
“Interestingly, on Friday 13th March, they began the payment of February 2020 salaries with no third-party deductions like pensions, tax, National Housing Fund, Association dues, cooperative contributions and others likely loans repayment.
“Our newly employed members were paid only one month, out of five to seven months, while house officers were paid two months salary without consequential adjustment of the new minimum wage and the arrears.”
Dr. Aigbovo, however, said that FCT Administration had laid the blame on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) domiciled at the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation (OAGF).
He said: “The IPPIS platform came to be in 2007 and we expect that all these teething problems should have been resolved by now. But it seems to us that there is a calculated attempt at depriving us our wage.”
He appealed to FCT Minister, Mallam Muhammad Musa Bello, to look into their plight and do the needful for the sake of patients and the entire health care system in FCT.