Organised Labour Union in Osun State has declared an industrial strike to demand for payment of full salaries despite an appeal from the government.
The declaration followed a 21-day ultimatum within which to pay full salaries to all categories of workers in the state.
The ultimatum will lapse on Tuesday 26th December and the strike begins on Wednesday, 27th December 2017.
Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun State, who had commended the state civil servants for their selfless service, despite the economic challenges and present realities. appealled for more patience.
He had earlier assured the workers of getting their arrears by March 2018, based on the earlier statement of the Chairman of the government-labour negotiating team, Mr Hassan Sunmonu.
But, the statement jointly signed by Nigeria Labour Congress Chairman, Jacobs Babatunde Adekomi; Trade Union Congress, Adekola Adebowale and Chairman, Joint Negotiation Council, Bayo Adejumo respectively, asked their members to embark on indefinite strike immediately after the Christmas holiday.
Adekomi maintained that the government had no reason to continue with the modulated salaries to categories of workers and that the union would no longer accept the embargo placed on the promotion of workers since 2012.
Governor Rauf Aregbesola had made the appeal at a Public Service Annual Lecture to commemorate the 7th Year Anniversary of Aregbesola’s administration on Thursday in Osogbo, the state capital.
The governor called on civil servants to be patient with the government, adding that the government was only owing to the senior staff above level eight.
The governor, whose analysis of the state revenues and payments from July 2015 to November 2017, showed that salaries and pensions have gulped more than the accruable revenues, urged workers to shun sentiment and resists any form of push to disrupt the harmonious relationship between labour and government.
“The turn around in the economy of the state had been made possible with the cooperation and understanding of the workforce. Yet, it must be stated that the government is responsible to the civil servants and the larger society as well as to lay a solid foundation for the future generation.
“The federal allocations, three tranches of Paris Club refund and the Internally Generated Revenue, this administration has received since July 2015 to date totalled N61,315,234,80,33 and N63,992,440,337,27, has been used to pay salaries and pensions from 2015 July till date.
“The total money received from the federal government as monthly allocations from July 2015 till date is N82,86,315,913,55, with a sum of N59,892,165,704,43 deducted from the source, leaving Osun with the net allocation of N22,204,150,209,12.
While commending the workers for their perseverance, selfless services and sacrifice despite the financial challenges of the state, Aregbesola restated that, not all workers in the state earn half salaries, saying only 28% of the workforce earn between 50% and 75% of their salaries while the rest from level 7 and below receive full salaries.
“No matter how much you hate the government, ask yourself how has the government been paying salaries. It has been very difficult paying salaries. It is not easy. Some people are trying to use workers against us. Our state requires an extraordinary push to overcome its challenges. To our workers, I want to tell you that we need your further understanding, patience and perseverance.
“Our season of famine will be over by March next year. You have demonstrated understanding. You have sacrificed sufficiently. Bear with us a little more in order to weather the storm together. Keep faith, very soon, the storm will be over,” Aregbesola appealed.
The guest speaker, Dr Goke Adegoroye, who spoke on the challenges faced in the public service and efficient governance, stressed on productivity and efficiency role in realization of good governance.
Adegoroye said public service values can only be achieved in a working environment that would engender confidence and job deployment that would also enable the system to get the best civil servants.
According to him, determinants of public service productivity and efficiency depends on the government roles in its democratic governance.
The guest speaker identified poor redundancy management, insufficient budgets, absence of improvement in the operations and processes of government, with lack of effective coordination at the center of government as key factors hindering productivity and efficiency in governance.