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Bor health workers threaten to strike

John Anyieth Malaak, a registered nurse and Deputy Chairperson of staff union at Bor State hospital/ photo: Chol Makol Riak.

By Chol Makol Riak

Staff at Bor State Hospital have threatened to lay down their tools within 72 hours if their two months’ arrears are not paid off.

On Monday, the staff addressed a letter to the hospital administration and its partners demanding the two months’ unpaid incentives.

According to the staff they have given the ministry and its partner’s 72hours’ ultimatum for the ministry to sort out the matter.

John Anyieth Malaak Deputy Chairperson of Staff Union at Bor state hospital said the staff have been working for two months without pay.

“We have been working two months now without payment, up-to now the two months’ salaries of September and October are not yet paid to the staff and in that sense the staff are asking the concerned authorities which is UNICEF and Medicos Del Mundo or Doctors of the world in collaboration with the ministry of health to address this issue within three days,” John said.

John disclosed that if the ministry with its partners doesn’t pay the staff within the 72 hours’ ultimatum, the staff will lay down their tools until the administration pays them their two month’s incentives. 

He stressed that the hospital administration have been engaging them and thereafter nothing came out of it.

“The staff were called by the hospital administration and we’re informed that they should wait for their two months’ incentives as UNICEF is working to pay off the unpaid incentives if it gets funds from world bank which we think is not the case here because UNICEF has funds and that’s why it is running the projects,” John added.

John said the hospital should stop telling the staff weather UNICEF lacks funds citing the project is running.

He said that MDM, the organization that is responsible for payment of their incentives is invisible in the field and the administration is telling them the new partner.

“MDM is supposed to pull out in September, so, the month of October is supposed to be taken by another partner which was supposed to be contracted by UNICEF but up to this time now we don’t know who has taken that responsibility since MDM is no longer running its activities here,” John said.

He stated that the hospital has been running for the last three months without essential and emergency drugs for service delivery to the entire community.

“Well, the issue of drugs is the major challenge that has been there in the last three months since the MDM activities started diminishing in the hospital. MDM used to provide essential and emergency drugs but in the last three months there are no drugs so now it has harden the delivery of the health services to the community,” he said.

Magook Along, the director of administration and finance at Bor state hospital said the hospital administration is still engaging the partners on how to pay the unpaid incentive. 

“We have tried our partners to pay their salaries but the partners did not respond to them. But the hospital administration is still trying ways out to get their unpaid salaries.”  

He said that the administration has called a meeting to convince the staff in order to give the hospital administration time to engage the partners.

“We called for a meeting today (Tuesday) and talked to them but they have rejected our proposal as administration and we have nothing to do because they are demanding for their right,” Magook said.

He said the administration is not even sure of what led to the delay of staff incentives.

“The system of MDM, UNICEF, world bank and the national ministry of health is not even clear to us as administration. What we know is that there is a new partner to take over the contract, MDM’s contract was supposed to stop in September and it has not paid the salaries of September,” he said.

He added that MDM is saying that the partner UNICEF have given them the funding for the months of June, July and August adding that MDM has been taking loan from other partners which is supposed to be paid back by UNICEF. 

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