Allied Health Professionals Alliance health workers strike in uganda
Allied Health Professionals Alliance chairperson Denis Alibu Patrick says that they will not return to work since they did not meet with the ministers when they asked for their response. PHOTO/MONITOR

Denis Alibu Patrick, the chairperson of the Allied Health Professionals Alliance, says that they are not returning to work because they did not meet with the ministers after they were contacted.

The Allied Health Professionals Alliance has announced they will continue striking until they are invited for a meeting about matters affecting them.

Earlier this month, health workers under their umbrella body, the Uganda Nurses and Midwives Union (UNMU) announced a sit-down strike on the basis that the government had refused to implement the collective bargaining agreement discussed in 2017 to have their salaries revised.

The Collective bargaining agreement that was signed in 2018 was to see that health workers have an enhanced salary. The medical officer and a pharmacist were to get paid sh5m, diploma holders sh3m, graduates sh4.8m and certificate holders get sh1.35m.

The strike has now left many government hospitals with only a few doctors on duty who cannot manage the growing number of patients.

Last week, the Prime Minister, Robinah Nabbanja in a statement issued a warning to the doctors that government is ready to terminate the contracts for all striking health workers.

“The government is sick and tired of working under immense pressure from civil servants,” part of the Prime Minister’s statement read.

With the hope that the workers are on the verge of calling off the strike, the Allied Health professionals, another group, who are also on strike over the same issue have said they will not return to work unless they are invited to a dialogue with the government.

According to Denis Alibu Patrick the chairperson of the Allied Health Professionals Alliance, they are not going back to work because they didn’t meet the ministers when they called for their response.

Alibu raised that after their demands, they were only shocked to hear threatening statements from the Prime Minister warning to fire from work all the striking workers.

“We all heard her telling health workers to report back to work within three days without formal engagement of the leadership of Allied Alliance. We are going to continue with the strike until we are called for a discussion.”

“Within the city, you may not feel the impact of our (Allied Health Professionals) strike, but at the health centers, it is felt. Some have even closed,” Alibu said.

In addition, he mentioned that Government has come out to say the health workers will have their salaries enhanced but raised they have not told them the exact amount of the increment. 

“We thank them, but I wonder why they haven’t come out to clearly state the amount of money they are to give the professionals,” Alibu added.