Workers laid down their tools over unpaid incentives at the main hospital in Jonglei.
The Covid-19 testing and treatment center at the main hospital in the Jonglei state capital, Bor town has been closed as workers downed their tools over unpaid incentives and poor remuneration conditions.
The 34 workers comprising of doctors, nurses, cleaners, electricians, and plumbers closed the Bor State Hospital Critical Care Centre on Friday as they demanded a 2-months risk allowance and better remuneration conditions. The incentives vary from USD 60 to USD 350.
In a Radio Tamazuj report seen by NCMP, the workers said the life-saving facility will remain closed until their demands are met.
“We are on strike. We need risk allowances for two months. They are for January and March. We have been running the facility from July 15 last year to January 15 this year when our contract ended. But the hospital administration asked us to work, and that we will be paid two months risk allowances pending contracts. But instead, we were only paid money for the month of February,” John Garang Reec, a clinician in charge of the center said.
The medical professional said they declared the strike Friday because the hospital administration had ignored their demands.
Michael Lem, a striking nurse, said they are ready to resume work as soon as their grievances are addressed.
“We thought the administration would listen to us when we wrote to them in late March but there was no response. We know we are serving the community, and at the same time, our lives are at risk. But our problem now is that there is no good communication,” he said.
Another striking worker, Mamer Madit, urged the government to intervene so that they can resume their duties.
For his part, Dr. Bol Chaw, the medical director of Bor State Hospital, admitted the Covid-19 centre remained closed since Friday as the workers went on strike.
“We took over the ownership of the centre, and by today Monday we will see what to do,” Dr. Bol stressed.
He added, “As a hospital, we notified the workers after their contract ended January 15. And we told them to continue working until we get the funds. On January 18, we paid them. And on March second we paid them incentives for February because we got to fund. But now they are saying that somebody told them money for March is there, and we do not want to pay them. This is not true.”