Uganda: Allied Health Workers Stick to Their Guns, Say They Won’t Resume Work

The Allied Health Professionals Alliance has threatened to withdraw emergency services and committed not to give in to what they refer to as “government intimidation” until their demands are addressed.

It is two weeks since the workers under their umbrella body, the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union (UNMU) announced industrial action and laid down tools accusing the government of failure to implement the collective bargaining agreement made in 2017 to have their pay increased.

The strike has left many patients in government hospitals stranded without anyone to attend to them.

Last week, the government gave a three-day ultimatum to the striking workers to return to work or else they will be sacked for absconding from duty.

But in a statement issued over the weekend, the chairperson of Allied Health Professionals Alliance, Denis Alibu Patrick, said they will not return to work until their issues are addressed by the government.

“We were shocked that even after writing a number of letters to the government leaders.We only came to see intimidation from the Prime Minister. Intimidating us to be fired from work. We were also shocked to see the minister of Public Services asking health workers to report back to work within three days without formal engagement of the leadership of Allied Alliance,” said Alibu.

He said that they cannot object to the discussion or positions of the government if they are engaged to come to an agreement or common position on the issues regarding the straining nurses.

“We have never been met, we have never been called in as far as these issues are concerned. We are here to tell the government that as much as you are intimating us, we are not going back to work until you formally engage us on the issues that we raised,” he said.

The workers also threatened to withdraw emergence services and committed not to give in to government intimidation of sacking them.

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