The Oyo State Government has reacted to the three-day warning strike declared today by workers in the state.
The workers, under the joint auspices of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) embarked on the industrial action claiming that the government had refused to address the following:
- Alleged 17-month arrears of salaries of workers in the State’s tertiary institutions
- Alleged 56-month arrears of pension and gratuity of retired primary school teachers
- Sack of 256 members of staff of LAUTECH Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso.
But the state government in a statement issued on its behalf by the Secretary to the State Government, Olalekan Alli, called on the workers to call off the strike which he described as illegal.
He explained that when government received the strike notice on Tuesday, it called for a meeting which labour agreed to attend by 4pm.
He said “Labour failed to attend the scheduled meeting”.
Below is a part of the statement where the SSG stressed government’s position on the issues raised by the workers.
“Government hereby declares as follows:
(a) Government has consistently honoured its obligations to Labour by ensuring monthly salaries are paid from the 100% FAAC allocation to the State and the Budget Support Fund including over 70% of other receivables (Excess Crude and Paris Club Reimbursement despite the Federal Government advice of 50% payment therefrom for salaries)
(b) Government has also been fulfilling its other responsibilities, commitments and functions using other resources such as IGR, Credits and Grants at its disposal to satisfy the yearnings of the people as would be expected.
(c) Salaries and pensions of workers at the State level have been paid up till and including November 2017 with only one (1) month salary and pension (December 2017) outstanding.
(d) By the laws setting up the tertiary institutions, Government is NOT responsible for the payment of salaries of workers in those institutions. In order to assist them, Government is ONLY obliged to grant the tertiary institutions SUBVENTIONS, which each institution would apply to whichever area of need that its Governing Council and Management may decide upon.
(e) The recent forensic audit reports on the tertiary institutions revealed a great deal of shortcomings such as inefficiencies, leakages, poor management, and other ineptitudes. Some institutions were even declared unsustainable and unviable. The consultant further recommended their closure. However, the recently constituted Governing Councils have been mandated to review their statuses and act suitably.
Contrary to Labour’s allegation, although Government on assumption of office in 2011, inherited Local Government Pension arrears totalling N4,736,741,934.49, it is on record that Government has disbursed pensions and gratuity of retired primary school teachers to the tune of N11,729,534,282.54.
Meanwhile, to avert further build up and eliminate the hardship arising therefrom, the Contributory Pension Scheme has been adopted as a solution to effectively address the issue.
“In view of the foregoing, and while dialogue continues, Government views the unilateral declaration of a 3-day warning strike by Labour as absolutely illegal, unwarranted and unjustifiable. Government hereby appeals to Labour to shelve its illegal unilateral industrial action.
“Similarly, Government enjoins all workers in the State not to absent themselves from duty, as doing so will attract the no-work no-pay rule according to the Trade Dispute Act 2010 Section43(1)(a)”.
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