- In protest of the plan by the Osun state governor, Rauf Aregbesola, to pay half salaries, civil servants in the state have begun an indefinite strike
- The civil servants are protesting not just against the half salary; but also, the issue of pensions and promotions
- The state’s commissioner for information however expressed confidence that the strike would not last long, as discussions have already begun with stakeholders
Civil servants and labour leaders in Osun state have begun their indefinite strike to protest the plan by Governor Rauf Aregbesola to pay them half salaries, Punch reports.
The protest which began on Wednesday, December 27, is being led by Tunde Adekomi, the NLC chairman in the state.
Legit.ng gathers that the state secretariat at Abere was shut down by the protesters, who wondered why even after the state government had received N6.3 billion from the federal government as payment from the third tranche of the Paris Club loan refund, their salaries still could not be paid.
In order to ensure that civil servants were complying with the directive, Adekomi, together with the chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers, Amudah Wakeel, stormed the secretariat as early as 7am.
Wakeel stated: “We are on strike in Osun. We are here at the State Government Secretariat, Abere, to ensure a total compliance to the strike directive.
“As you can see, no worker came to resume work today because they are our members and the labour directed that they should stay at home.
“The labour is indivisible, that is why those who are collecting full salaries also complied. The strike is not even about half salary alone. The issue of promotion is there, pension is there, and are you saying those from level 1 to 7 will not retire in the future?
“The compliance is total and we are happy about it. Nobody can divide us. The labour is one indivisible family whether you are on level one, 13 or any level.”
However, speaking on the development, Adelani Baderinwa, the Osun state commissioner for information, expressed confidence that the strike would not go beyond Wednesday.
According to Baderinwa, talks were ongoing on the issue.
He stated: “Men of noble character, citizens of the state are getting involved and are engaging the labour too, trying to make them see reasons why the industrial dispute should be resolved in the interest of the state and the people in general.
“The governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has always been very clear about his tendencies on the welfare of the workers, and this he has been doing since he came on board in 2010.
“What the workers did not ask, the governor had given them when the going was good; when government had resources.
“Unfortunately, some vandals who found themselves at the helm of affairs in the federal government ran the country into economic recession.
“And therefore, things became difficult financially for the Osun state Government, and that is the reason why quite a number of ingenious things had to be done, including putting modulated salary in place so that workers and pensioners would go home with something at the end of the month.”
Recall that Legit.ng previously reported that Osun state workers declared their intention to begin an indefinite strike over non-payments of their full salaries and arrears, despite the receipt of the third tranche of N6.3 billion Paris Club loan refund.
The Osun state Joint Public Service Negotiating Council disclosed this in a statement issued on Friday, December 22, following an emergency meeting of labour leaders on Thursday, December 21.
The workers accused the state government of refusing to revert to paying them full salary.
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