ONDANGWA - Staff members at the Onandjokwe Lutheran Hospital at Oniipa yesterday staged a peaceful demonstration over delayed salaries, which have gone from a few days’ delay to almost a week. Nurses have not been paid their salaries for February. The reasons for the delay are only known to hospital management. “This is not the first time it is happening, it happened in the past and even throughout 2014. In some cases workers got their salaries on time whereas some got theirs two to three days later – it has become the culture of Onandjokwe,” read the petition handed over by the nurses who demonstrated yesterday. Patients at the Lutheran hospital were left to be attended by one nurse per ward, except the maternity ward and casualty section. The nurses marched from the hospital to the church offices and then to the Oniipa Constituency councillor where they handed over their petition. In the petition received by the head of the hospital Dr Petrov Igol as well as Alpo Enkono of their mother body ELCIN, the staff questioned what had caused the delays and cautioned management to ensure they receive their salaries for March on time. Chanting songs requesting timely salaries, the hospital staff also reminded the hospital management that receiving their salaries on time is not a privilege but a right. “Delaying of salaries is denying workers the right to get what they deserved to get on time,” read one of their hand-scrawled placards. They also lamented that the delays have over the years put them in an awkward position with financial institutions with which they are in agreement to have money deducted from their payslips at the end of each month. The staff therefore demanded that the issue of bank charges and penalties incurred on their accounts be addressed in the management meeting. “We demand the management write letters to financial entities to apologize on behalf of the workers and clear up their names so that they can be granted credit when the need arises,” read their petition. In addition, the hospital staff also requested the hospital management to issue them with well-considered letters to give to their employees and their children’s schools since some schools have already started demanding such letters from parents who could not meet payment deadlines. Nurses who spoke to New Era off the record related that there is something fishy going on at the hospital as one of the offices in the administration block had to be broken in, to acquire the needed documentation as the occupier remained out of reach since last week. New Era was also reliably informed that while issues of a lack of funds continue to crop up at the hospital, luxury vehicles including a Toyota Fortuner was purchased at the end of last year. Receiving the petition, the head of the hospital Dr Petrov Igol said that a meeting would be scheduled soon to address the recurrent pay problem. Nurses warned that in future they would take unspecified actions if their employer failed to respond promptly to their request.
New Era Reporter
2015-03-10 07:46:17 4 years ago