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Striking Mbarara Hospital staff could be fired

Mbarara referral hospital staff who took part in a meeting that resolved an industrial strike over delayed salaries risk losing their jobs. The hospital executive director, Dr. George Upenytho, says the board will sit this Friday to determine the fate of the health workers who were behind a sit down strike announced last Wednesday.

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Mbarara referral Hospital staff who took part in a meeting that resolved an industrial strike over delayed salaries risk losing their jobs.

The hospital executive director, Dr. George Upenytho, says the board will sit this Friday to determine the fate of the health workers who were behind a sit down strike announced last Wednesday.

Over 300 health workers led by Sunta Nakalanzi, the senior nursing officer and workers representative on the board, gave the Ministries of Health and Public Service up to Monday this week to pay their salaries or they would lay down their tools.

Nakalanzi also demanded the release of allowances  that had accumulated since September 2011 under the MJAP Mulago -Mbarara joint Aids program as well as workshop allowances.

The action by the health workers has since sparked a tense stand off at the hospital between the administration and workers with management working frantically to avert the strike.

In an interview with URN this morning, Dr. George Upenytho revealed that the Hospital board has taken up the task of investigating the health workers who initiated the idea of forcing government to release their money.

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He said when the investigations are complete; the board will determine the fate of the health workers implicated in the act.

One of the health workers on the list of those to be investigated is Sunta Nakalanzi who represents the workers on the hospital board. Mbarara hospital has a staff ceiling of over 300 workers comprising support staff and health workers.

In a notice pinned at Mbarara hospital notice board, Geoffrey Muhumbura, the chairman of the Uganda Medical Workers Union Mbarara branch distanced themselves from the action of the health workers saying they do not support the call for a sit down strike.

Efforts to get a comment from Sunta Nakalanzi were futile as she was not readily available at the hospital by the time URN visited.

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