AT its emergency meeting held on Friday, 12th February, 2021 the Joint Council deliberated extensively on content and implementation of the 18 September, 2020 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) entered into by the State government with the Civil/Public employees of Ogun State on issues that bother mainly on their welfare and has chosen to put them on the stand of irrelevance and so confined to backstage of priorities.
It miffed the Council to note that out of the items on the widely publicized MoU only the New Minimum Wage was effected on 1st October, 2020 as agreed. Council recalled of the August, 2019 talks with the State government where it was agreed that the new wage will commence in January, 2020. In spite of nearly twelve (12) months delay of its implementation, it is shocking still that the State government neither spoke on payment of arrears nor readiness to.
i) The promise to earmark on quarterly basis, half a billion naira, (#500,000,000.00) for the payment of gratuity which the State government pledges to start, latest by January, 2021 has been found to be unfounded. Retirees of the both the State and of the Local Governments have continue to groan in misery even as some have died in utter regret ever serving the State.
ii) The process leading to the implementation of promotions of 2018, 2019, 2020 with 2021 falling due in July have only manifested in the rhetoric rather than in reality. The current administration came into office on 29 May, 2019.
iii) Precisely two weeks back, 2020 Pension Amendment Bill got the hurried measure with subtle blackmail of the Organised Labour that the quicker the amendment is passed the earlier the State government will access its much sought Bond, part of which, as peddled by the State government, will be allocated to offsetting arrears of gratuity of retirees. Clearly the State government is manipulating sides to buy time.
iv) Backlog of unpaid Leave Allowances for up to seven years now have largely being ignored. The current administration owes two years out of the accumulated unpaid allowances.
Further, deductions from workers’ into the dysfunctional Contributory Pension Scheme continue unabated. Neither deductions made from workers salaries nor that of the State/Local Governments counterpart had been remitted so far even by the current administration. The current administration owes precisely the equal months since assumption of office.
Above all, upon all reasonings and considerations,the State government thought it best to stifle life out of the economically struggling workers by deliberately witholding their voluntary savings. No doubt, the self-funded superstructures of ubiquitous, age old Cooperative system have collapsed in the State. It should be noted that the current administration inherited zero unremitted cooperative deductions from workers voluntary savings but has however championed owing same in the last 13 months as at January, 2021! Were the current administration being truthful to its pledges, especially in the payment of workers salary in gross in the first instance, most of these issues would not had manifested. The State government had succeeded in paying lip service to the payment of salaries of workers in full up till now!
Albeit included in the MoU that March, 2021 would serve the evaluation period of its performance, it is pertinent to mark it that each of these issues comes with a timeline but all of which had been breached. In view of these myriads of unresolved issues, the Joint Council hereby places the State government on notice that the suspended strike of September, 2020 would be resumed in a matter of days. Workers of the State/Local Governments have had enough of being treated as after thoughts.