•Govt begins payment of salaries
•’Protests politically motivated’
OSUN State workers have ended their six-week strike after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the government.
Labour leaders at the end of the meeting at the Governor’s Office in Osogbo called on civil servants to resume work yesterday.
The government yesterday began paying backlog of salaries. State workers are to receive January and February while local government workers will be paid March and April.
Other payments include those of primary school teachers’ balance of November pensions, outstanding pensions for January and February for retired primary school teachers and March pensions for retired local government workers.
The MoU was signed by the government, Joint Public Service Negotiating Councils (JPSNC), Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).
NLC Chairman Jacob Adekomi, who spoke on behalf of other labour leaders, said Organised Labour ended the strike when it considered the state’s parlous financial situation.
The NLC chairman added that the government and labour agreed to sign an MoU, following efforts put in place to end delays in salaries.
He said the strike was suspended to appreciate government’s commitment to workers’ welfare.
Adekomi said committees would be set up to screen workers and pensioners.
“Committees will be set up to screen, determine the wage bill, the number of workers, the number of pensioners and their wage bill.”
The NLC chairman called on workers to be more diligent and committed, saying government could only progress when its workers are productive.
Adekomi assured workers that the government and labour leaders would fashion out the modalities of payment for the remaining four months.
Organised Labour dissociated titself from the protests over unpaid salaries.
The unions condemned the protests and described them as “politically-motivated”.
JPSNC Chairman Bayo Adejumo said the protests were sponsored by some fifth columnists, who used the opportunity to tarnish the government’s image.
He added that none of the known labour unions participated or sponsored any of the protests.
“We were not part of any protests neither did we sponsor one. As an organised workforce, we are aware of the constraints of government.
“As at the time we embarked on the industrial action, it was assumed that we had no other choice than to embark on the strike, despite our understanding of the state of funds in the state.
“All the purported protests were aimed at tarnishing the government’s image.
“They were sponsored and the workforce did not participate or organise any. All we did was to order our members to embark on an industrial strike and at no time did any of the unions called its members out for a protest rally.”