Graduate interns at the University College Hospital (UCH) in Ibadan, Oyo State, have been issued threats of extended work without pay for protesting against delays and reductions in their monthly salaries, FIJ can report.
For nearly three weeks now, hundreds of graduate interns at UCH have been protesting against non-payment of their salaries, which is now affecting work conditions.
The affected young medical professionals include dieticians, radiographers, pharmacists, nurses and physiotherapists.
They are accusing the hospital management of short-paying them of what the Federal Government had disbursed in full.
Sources confirmed to FIJ that intern pharmacists and intern nurses, for example, who ought to be paid N128,000 and N99,000 respectively, have been experiencing marginal pay cuts since January.
Dr. Abiodun Adeoye, Chairman of Medical Advisory Committee addressing the protesters:
The Failed Dialogue and Social Media Effect
On May 4, the interns met with the management team, including the Chief Medical Director and the Director of Administration, but the meeting, according to them, was not fruitful.
“We were simply told that there has not been much money available since the federal government asked the hospitals to switch their mode from GIFMI to IPPIS,” one of them anonymously told FIJ.
With the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, the UCH staff, including interns, will be directly paid, unlike the Government Integrated Financial Management Information, which allows the management to pay them from the government’s reimbursement.
After their recent campaign on Thursday, the interns were surprisingly credited with their March and April outstanding salaries, although by at least a 50 percent cut.
“How come the same management that told us there was no money could pay us that same night our social media campaign went viral?” another intern asked.
“I can categorically say that none of us in the Nursing department has been captured for IPPIS but the last two payments reflected that our payment came through that means. The management’s attitude has shown that if we don’t tweet, they won’t pay. We also suspect some corruption on their part. Therefore, we have decided that until they pay the remainder on our slashed salaries, we won’t stop protesting”.
In an audio clip exclusively obtained by FIJ, Professor Adeyinka Ishola, UCH’s Director of Pharmaceutical Services, was heard threatening the interns with an extension of the programme without pay because of their confrontational protests on social media.
“We are really disappointed in you. We even pet you but you went on social media and said very awful words,” he lamented. “Workers don’t behave like students and if you decide to behave as such, we will treat you as such.”
Professor Adeyinka Ishola threatens UCH graduate interns for demanding full salary:
He continued: “For every action, there is a consequence and the consequence of this could be an extension of internship without pay and that would be mandatory. If the management says I should extend your internship, there is nothing you can do.
“I don’t think where employees abuse employers… you ended painting us black. We are really disappointed in you and I am going to state in your recommendation letters that you are good but your set is rebellious. You are making it difficult for us to manage you. They gave you 50 percent you are getting angry when some are even begging outside to come in and earn that same half.”
He ended by saying: “The management has seen your tweets and if they give you queries, I will attach the queries to your recommendation letter and you go back to show your parents at home that you have become very rebellious for not subjecting yourselves to constituted authorities.”
FIJ reached out to Professor Ishola but he didn’t answer his call or respond to the text message sent.
Toye Akinrinlola, UCH’s Head of Information Unit, also insisted on having a physical meeting with our reporter before making comments on the issue.
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