One month after embarking on an indefinite industrial action, organized labour leaders in Ondo State on Thursday evening suspended their strike. The workers down tools following the failure of the government to pay them their six months salaries.
The decision to put the strike on hold was taking on the last fourth-day of the extensive deliberations between the unions and the government, held at the Government Cocoa Conference Hall in Akure, the state capital.
At the meetings, the government is always represented by the Head of Service (HoS), Bar. Toyin Akinkuotu, Commissioner for Finance, Yele Ogundipe, Attonery-General and Commissioner for Justice, Eyitayo Jegede (SAN), and the Special Adviser to the Governor on Union Matter, Mr. Dayo Fadahunsi.
On the workers’ side, they are being represented by the Chairmen, Joint Negotiating Committee, Oluwole Adeleye, Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Bosede Daramola, Trade Union Congress, Soladoye Ekundayo, while the State Controller, Federal Ministry of Labour, Mr. O.M Folayan served as the mediator.
On the fourth day of the meeting, the unions and the government finally agreed to pay the salaries according to the available fund.
A copy of the resolutions taking in the meeting and signed by the names mentioned above, reads, “that January 2016 salary be immediately paid in full to all staff in mainstream, Parastatals, HMB, TESCOM and State Pensioners while all local government staff and primary school teachers including their pensioners be paid February 2016 in full.
“That in addition to above, March 2016 salary be immediately paid in full to primary school teachers and local government staff on level 1-10 in view of the fact that the available funds cannot pay all categories of workers at that sector.
“That February 2016 salary be further paid in full to health workers in HMB; that Judiciary workers be paid two months’ salary January and February 2016 in full; that the State Oil Producing Areas Development Commission (OSOPADEC) be paid February to April in full. “That all outstanding arrears of salaries and pensions be offset as a matter of priority from refunds and reimbursement embloc; that subsequent salaries should be met as number one priority from Internal Generated Revenue (IGR), statutory allocations, budget support, loans, refunds, and reimbursement.
“That government should agree in principle to buyback all outstanding corporate/individual loans of workers on compilation of details by labour.
“In view of this, a seven-man committee has been constituted comprising representatives of the organised Labour and government to negotiate with the affected banks.
“That government should set up efforts efforts towards increasing its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) to complement its dwindling allocations from federation accounts as a way of meeting its financial obligations, especially in prompt salary payment.