Samuel Awoyinfa, Abeokuta
Public workers in Ogun State have suspended the strike which they started on October 20, 2016, after their leaders signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the state government on the modalities for the payment of unremitted workers’ cooperative deductions, union check off dues.
The state Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, however, did not comment on the fate of the 16 dismissed labour leaders and 18 others that were suspended.
He said that the sacking and suspension issues were not discussed at the meeting but he promised to attend to it “as it is more of a family issue.”
The National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Ayuba Wabba, announced the strike suspension to the workers at the state NLC secretariat, after a 10-hour meeting between the organised labour and the state government.
The workers were represented by the state chairmen of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Akeem Ambali, Trade Union Congress, Olubunmi Fajobi, and the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council, Biodun Olakanmi.
The meeting also had in attendance the national presidents of the TUC, Bobboi Kaigama, NJC, Kiri Mohammed, the National Union of Local Government Employees, Ibrahim Khaleel, and the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Abdulrafiu Adeniji.
At the end of the meeting, an eight-point MoU was agreed upon.
The resolution was signed by the state Head of Service, Olusola Adeyemi, Permanent Secretary, Bureau of Establishment and Training, Mrs. M.T. Dosunmu, and the state chairmen of the NLC, TUC and the JNC while the national presidents of the labour unions served as observers and witnesses.
Olakanmi read the MoU to journalists at the Governor’s Office, Oke Mosan, after it had been signed by all the parties.
He said it was agreed that the state government should pay global deductions with the November 2016 salary and release deductions every 90 days.
Olakanmi added, “It was also agreed that as soon as the bullet payment is received from the Federal Government and the state revenue improves, outstanding deductions shall be paid on or before May 2017.”
Both parties also agreed on the immediate offset of one-year arrears of check-off dues, adding that outstanding gratuities would be offset with N200m every other month effective from November 2016.
They also agreed that a joint committee for both government and labour should be set up to look at issues of the Contributory Pension Scheme and submit the report to the government within 90 days.
It was also agreed that the 2015 promotion result be released immediately.
Another joint committee, the two parties agreed, should be set up to look into the issues of the officers that had completed loan payments and whose money were still being deducted.
Other resolutions are, “Officers that have completed loan repayment should be allowed to exit from the cooperative societies.
“Towards promoting industrial harmony, there should be instituted a quarterly meeting between the government and labour.
“Consequent upon the above, the two sides agreed that the ongoing strike should be suspended and no worker should be victimised for participating in the action.”
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