Scores of security guards and cleaners at the University Teaching Hospital (UCH), Ibadan early morning of Monday protested their 13-month salary arrears.
The protesters who gathered at about 6:30 am at the administrative office, blocked the entrance to office of the hospital’s Chief Medical Director (UCH), Professor Temitope Alonge for several hours before leaving the administrative office of the hospital.
The protesting workers while insisting not to resume work until their demands were met, however, did not prevent other workers and visitors from entering the hospital.
They noted that it was their right to demand for their salaries.
Some of the placards displayed by the protesting workers include, “Pay us our salary, it is our right”; “No pay, no work”; “We are dying of hunger, please pay our salaries” and “Our salary is our money, please pay us”.
The protesters while speaking with journalists urged government to intervene, alleging that the management told them there was no money to pay them.
One of them who identified himself as Sunday Ayorinde noted that it was unfortunate that they have been waiting to receive their salaries since last year.
He said, “We have been here since 7am to protest peacefully over the salary owed us, running into 13 months. Although we are contract workers, we are posted here and we do our work here. We are not being paid.
“We received our salary a week after the permanent workers had received theirs. But since last year we have not been receiving salary. That was why we protested last November, which was the first time.
“The management appealed to us through the Chief Medical Director, Prof. Temitope Alonge, who said the hospital cannot continue to pay the salary of security guards and cleaners.
‘’He promised to look into the matter, but since then, we have not heard anything. We appeal to the authority to look into our matter, as we are dying of hunger.”
In her reaction, Mrs. Bamidele Ajoke said, “I have three children in tertiary institutions and I’ve worked here for years. Since 11 months, I’ve not received salary. It’s so sad.”
Another angry worker, Oluwasegun Sunday lamented that some of the workers have died due to non payment of their salaries.
He said “Most of us have died of hunger. We drink garri. We don’t have money to pay rent, let alone medical bills and children’s school fees. We have not been receiving salary.”
UCH spokesman, Deji Bobade while reacting, however, informed that two companies were in charge of paying cleaners and security guards, since they were not direct employees of the hospital.
He said the management would meet the companies today, adding that the Federal Ministry of Finance had promised to send their wages to the contracting companies.