ULC Strike : Oyo Workers At their Duty Posts, As Commuters Wait Endlessly For Commercial Vehicles

Workers in Oyo state have continued to go about their normal duties, despite the ongoing industrial action embarked upon by the United Labour Congress(ULC).

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A visit to the state secretariat and some other establishments indicated that the workers did not down tools, even though they expressed satisfaction with the present situations of things.

However, on Tuesday, commuters had difficulties in getting to their destinations at the state  capital, Ibadan, as there were few commercial vehicles on the road, while commuters waited endlessly for the vehicles. Those who could not wait for long, trekked to their destinations.  In addition, some filling stations were without fuel.

In a chat with Federationews2day, the Chairman of the state council of the Trade Union Congress(TUC), who doubles as the Chairman Public Service Joint Negotiating Council, Comrade Emmanuel Ogundiran maintained that members of the TUC and Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) were at their duty posts, while insisting that the ULC was not yet registered and therefore was not competent  to call out the workers on strike.

”As at today in Nigeria, we operate only based on laws and ethics, there are only two registered and recognized labour centres, the first is the Nigeria Labour Congress, that is for the junior staff and some craft unions and the second one is the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, which is the umbrella centre for senior staff unions or senior staff associations.

”We know ULC came about  as a break away faction of the Nigeria Labour Congress, but as at today that union or conglomerate of unions is yet to be registered and recognized. If they are registered and recognized, maybe they have the right to do so. As  a matter of fact, when you look at it, out of the unions that broke away to form the ULC, we know that NUPENG is a major factor and NUPENG is not on strike, NUPENG has never called out its members on strike, the junior staff of airport and maritime workers union, they are members, they also broke away, they even made publications that they are not on strike, in the public service we have the National Union of Typists and Stenographers, they are also with the so called ULC they are  not on strike”.

”NUBIFIE is a member of ULC, they are not on strike, so where  does ULC derive its power, and which power ? Because these registered and recognized trade unions know that if they proceed on that strike, they risk their certificates of registration  been withdrawn, because it is an  illegal act, they risk losing their membership, their members risk losing their jobs. So, they know what it takes, because it is not according to the laid down labour laws, for a non registered conglomerate of unions to declare strike”, Comrade Ogundiran concluded.

About Behaviour                         About Attitude

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Political Office Holders As Servants of the People

The basis for true civilization is the respect for law and order. Due process and the rule of law, features prominently in the lexicon of societies all over the world.

Indeed, unstable power supply, lack of good roads, declining standard of education, unreliable health care delivery, high unemployment rate and insecurity are just some of the challenges threatening  the diminishing  hopes of Nigerians, who before this time, had high expectations.

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The myriad of challenges persist because the political class are in short  supply of Democrats, who possess finesse and are willing to embrace the culture of Democracy and the rule of law.

At a point in time in Nigeria’s history, the incumbent President, Muhammadu Buhari was the Presidential candidate of the All Nigeria Peoples Party(ANPP), while a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar was the standard bearer of the Action Congress(AC). The stake holders of the coalition are now singing different tunes.

Indeed, constitutional Democracy is a vital tool for a stable united Nigeria, with emphasis on unity in diversity.

This line of thought recommends that the  of leaders of each ethnic group should have  a basic willingness to engage in cooperative efforts with the leaders of other segments in a spirit of moderation and compromise, while still retaining the support and loyalty of their own followers.

The commitment of leaders of all ethnic segments to the continued unity of the country becomes crucial and debatable.

Without doubt unity is synonymous with the safety of lives and property, in a workers’ friendly environment. With this in mind, it would not be wrong to call for the restructuring of the Nigeria Police Force by Government and at the same time, it is high time workers restructured their trade unions for better results.

In the present dispensation, a major characteristic of governance at all tiers, is the constant abuse of power.

Sadly, over the years, the servant leadership ideology has failed to take root in the country’s national life, with political and public office holders as prominent actors.

However, Nigerians are hoping that sometime very soon, political and public office holders will reconsider their present positions, and become servants of the people. Maybe.

About Attitude                                           About Behaviour

 

 

Govt. Has Not Fulfilled Its Promise To Workers-Labour Leader

Nigerian workers discuss their pitiable state on a daily basis, and conclude that Government is not ready to make life bearable for them. In this interview with Federationews2day, the immediate past Chairman of the Trade Union Congress(TUC)Oyo state council, who is also an ex-official of the TUC, the state Chairman of the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria(ASCN)Oyo state chapter and South west coordinator of the Socialist Workers league, Comrade Andrew Emelieze,  says government is insensitive to the plight of Nigerian workers.

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Excerpts :

How have your members fared under the economic recession ?

As regards the issue of the recession, in the first place, those who claim to have announced that Nigeria is in recession are the same people who put the country in recession, the ruling class, they are the same people that have now come out to say that Nigeria is out of recession.

We might to some extent agree with them, looking at the increase in the price of crude oil in the international market, and the rise in the GDP, we might want to say that, technically, Nigeria is out of recession. The question we will now ask thereafter, is how will it impact on the people of Nigeria, especially the workers and the senior civil servants, which I represent.

It is too early to judge, but then, looking at the history of Government and governance in Nigeria, especially this government, which we all know that it is a multi government, they talk so much, even based on so many things that they cannot achieve, one might begin to also think  that it might still be the same old story and that Nigerians might not feel any impact. On the issue of recession, especially now that the ruling class has started the struggle for 2019 elections and so one might not eventually, get anything that will benefit  the Nigerian working class, on the issue of Nigeria getting out of recession. Also, looking at the struggle for the minimum wage, now that the Government says we are out of recession, one will also expect the Nigerian Government to say that there is hope for a new national minimum wage. The workers have endured for over two years in very harsh conditions. And the Government has been able to manoeuvre us within this period and they have not been able to achieve a new minimum wage for workers.

Now that we are out of recession and they have announce it, we should expect them to also announce that, even without  negotiating with the labour movement, that Government should be able to pay a particular amount of money as new minimum wage, then let labour come out to say that Government has announced is too small. In fact our earlier position  was that the new national min mum wage should be anchored on the President’s salary. And what we are saying here, is that if equity and justice must prevail i Nigeria, whatever our  President is earning as the Chief Executive of the country, he should be able to give part of it as minimum wage and what is it we are  demanding, at our own local level here, we have been able to do our arithmetic and we have  said that the President should graciously give the Nigerian working class one per cent of his own salary, we are not talking about allowances. Just one per cent of his own salary as new national minimum wage. And if he is able to do that, I think everything is anchored around him, then now begin to believe that the President has  a sense of justice. Besides, coming out of recession, we also expect that government, will fulfill its promise to pay workers all  it owes them at the local, state and federal levels. Before now, at the federal level, lots of allowances are  been owed workers, especially promotion allowances, transfer allowances and Basic Travel Allowances. It should be noted that there have been attempts by the labour movement especially our association, Association of Senior Civil Servants to put pressure on government to see how it can pay this money. What we’ve been hearing is that they’ve released so, so and so amount of money, N20 billion, N40 billion, they are compiling, they are yet to pay and people are just too tired of  hearing these excuses. Money that they have been owing for the past 7, 8, 9, 10 years. And with this government coming on board, they promised that they will pay these allowances, two years after, they have not paid these allowances owed federal workers. In fact, if you look at the allowances owed federal workers, the money owed them is even more than what  states which have not been able to pay salaries to their workers in the past 7 to 8 months owed them.  Those in a particular level are not receiving salaries for that level. Tkae for instance, someone  in grade level 12 is still receiving salary  of someone in grade level 9. And that is the predicament we find ourselves. If you go the Federal secretariat, all over the federation,  you see workers who are not happy, they are confused, in fact, even their condition of service is such that most times, they lament and regret that they took up jobs to work for their country. Apart from the fact that the pay is too poor, N18,000 minimum wage, all the allowances owed them has not been paid. they are no longer motivated to work. If you go to most offices now at the federal level, it is zero allocation. Money is not coming from Abuja. They don’t have money to operate. The various  Directors are just in the offices, almost  made redundant by the Federal Government. Probably the money has been budgeted for, but  it is not leaving Abuja. It is our strong belief that now that they have announced the end of recession, they should explore way through which the state Governors can have enough funds to clear the arrears of  workers’ salaries, gratuities  of pensioners, including the issue of social security for the unemployed. Unfortunately, nothing is  been done in this regard, based on what we’ve bee hearing  at the Federal level and even from the Governors.

Festive Period : For The Past Three Years We Have Being Borrowing To Celebrate-Oyo Workers

Workers in Oyo state have expressed reservations over the poor condition they have marked festive holidays in the last three years.

The workers who cut across religious divides, noted that only the grace of God had enabled them to pool financial resources together to celebrate such holidays.

”For the past three years, we have always went about  borrowing money to celebrate during festive periods. Salary arrears still linger, no conducive  working environment, consultants everywhere, Government has not treated us well, it is sad and unfortunate”, the workers who refused to mention their names lamented.

In his Eid El Kabir message to workers in the state, the Chairman,  State Public Service Joint Negotiating council, who is also the Chairman of the Trade Union Congress(TUC)and the Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria(ASCSN) in the state,  Comrade Emmanuel Ogundiran  outlined the experience of workers in the state, while advising them to be prudent in their spending habits during the festive period.

”In those days they do give us opportunistic to send some of our Muslim brothers and sisters to the Holy land for Hajj, they give us pilgrimage  slots. In the last three years nothing of such, they used to give us Jerusalem slots, in the last three or four  years nothing of such. Even during festive periods, they do  give us rice, milk, these days nothing of such We will never go cap in hand begging anybody. We believe it is the right  of the Government to celebrate its workforce. We will continue to say it that they are not  a better stakeholder in this project called Oyo state than we are. And we are  the geese that lay the golden eggs, which they consume. We are  the tools  with which the work of this state is  been done, but what do we have ? But we always thank God because we are  alive, we are surviving and we will still survive this.

”I wish all our Muslim brothers and sisters a blissful Eid El Kabir and knowing what the economy of the country and the state in particular is saying, as I wish them a very good moment during the Eid El Kabir, I want them to be mindful of their spending, they should cut  their coat according to  their cloth, they should  not over spend, knowing that we are approaching the period during which our  wards and children, will be  resuming back to school, in the month of September, they should make  sure they plan for their children and not to overspend during the festive period”, Comrade Ogundiran advised.

 

We are Tired of Half Salaries-UI Junior Workers

Non Academic staff of the University of Ibadan have lamented the hardships they are currently experiencing as a result of the continued payment of half salaries by the university management.

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According to the workers, it has become impossible for them to meet their domestic obligations, due to increasing financial responsibilities and mounting debts.

”We cannot do anything meaningful with the half salaries the University management, has for several months now, been giving us. It is a serious issue and  an urgent solution should be worked out, before the situation degenerates. We are tired of half salaries”, the workers declared.

In his reaction, the Chairman  of the Non Academic Staff Union in the University, Comrade Oluwasegun Arojo appealed to the university management to explore ways ensure payment of full salaries to the workers.

”The country is actually having issues with the economy, it is glaring that the system is sick. From that angle,  we want to see how we can have matters resolved completely. What Government has been doing is to rob Paul to pay  Peter. Right now, there is a challenge of shortfall in the university and I am sure it is a peculiarity of the  universities. What we are demanding from them, is that our salaries be paid fully. Really there is a challenge,  we are just only appealing to them. Whenever we meet our management, they keep giving excuses that Government did not pay them. Whatever Government releases is what they use and they have been pro rating it. So, we just hope that sometime very soon, we will come out of it”, Comrade Arojo stated.

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Ondo Workers Demand Full Payment of Their Sept. 2016 Salaries

Workers in Ondo  state have called on the state Government to look inwards, in a bid to ensure the full payment of their September  2016 salaries, even as they insisted that they would not accept percentage payment of their salaries.

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The workers made this call in a statement signed by  both the  state Chairmen Nigeria Labour Congress(NLC) and Trade Union Congress(TUC), Bose Daramola and Sola Ekundayo respectively.

”Government should look inward to augment and pay September 2016 salary in full to all workers and pensioners in the state.  Percentage payment or fractional payment in whatever form is unacceptable to Ondo state public servants and pensioners”.

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“While assuring Your Excellency of our support and loyalty at all times, it is our wish that the entire workers of Ondo State will receive their September 2016 salaries and pensions without further delay,” the statement stressed.

Before now, the state Government, had  in a meeting with the workers representatives, disclosed that  75 percent of the Paris Club refund, which is N5.7billion, would not be enough to offset all the outstanding salary and pensions for September 2016. This had made  workers in the state very uncomfortable.

Paris Club Refund :LG Workers, Others in Oyo Grumble Over None Payment of Salary Arrears

Contrary to the widely reported payment of May and June salaries to workers in Oyo state by the state Government, Local Government employees in the state are still grumbling over the none payment of the backlog of their salary arrears and the continued payment  of a certain percentage of their salaries.

 

The Local Government workers lamented, that for several months unending, they have been receiving half salaries, despite their outcry.

They blame their plight  on some of their union leaders, who they allege, colluded with the council authorities to ensure that the trend was sustained.

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The workers, however expressed optimism that all their salary arrears would be paid very soon, since the state Government had promised to set aside N2 billion for the purpose.

Sadly, medical and health workers in the state are singing the same song, as they  stress that they  find it difficult to reconcile their present position with the news that workers have received their salaries for May and June, 2017.

In response to this development, the Labour centres in the state wrote a letter to the state Governor dated 20th July, 2017 and signed by the state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Waheed Olojede, Chairman Trade Union Cognress, Comrade Emmanuel Ogundiran and Secretary Public Service Joint Negotiating Council, Comrade Kolawole  Eniola .

In the letter the Labour leaders called on the state Government to  to utilize the second tranche of Paris Club Refund to offset the backlog of salary arrears owed Local Government workers.

The Letter titled  ”The Just Released Paris Club Refund and Our  Demand for Payment of Outstanding Arrears of Salaries/Allowances and Pensions in Oyo state”, stated :

” Your Excellency, please permit us to recall with nostalgia that when the bailout fund was released to states  to pay arrears of salaries and pensions in 2016, workers in the Local Government services in the state, were not well treated in  parity with  there colleagues in the state services as the Local Government portion of the fund was not disbursed for the purpose for  which the fund was meant”.

”It is in reference to this harrowing experience that we request, in the present circumstance, that the fund now released should also take care of the industrial interest of both serving  workers and pensioners under Local Government services”.

 

 

Kogi Govt. Commences The Payment of May and June Workers’ Salaries

The Kogi state Government has commenced the payment of May and June salaries to civil servants in the state.

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According to a statement by the state Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Idris Ashiru out of the Paris Club Refund to the state, which is N4.2 Billion, N1. 716 billion has been set aside for the payment  of the May and June salaries of Teaching and non-Teaching staff of higher institutions.

Furthermore, N1.323 Billion was for the payment of May and June pensions of pensioners in the state, while N987, 540,00  was ear marked for the payment of May salaries of civil servants in Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

The statement  maintained that before this time, Political office holders, staff of  the Judiciary and Legislature had been paid their June salaries.

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Our Members are Still Been Paid Percentage Salaries in Universities-National Vice President SSANU

Workers in Nigerian universities have a tale or two to tell those interested in listening. They are not happy, their unhappiness revolves on the nonchalant attitude of the managements of universities towards issues concerning salaries and welfare of workers. In this interview with Federationews2day, the National Vice President, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities(SSANU)Western zone, Comrade Alfred Ilesanmi Jimoh says that all is not well with senior  staff of  Universities in the South West and other parts of the country. Excerpts :

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How have Senior Staff in Universities in the South West Geo-Political zone of the country fared in recent times ?

I must say that the state of affairs has not changed significantly, a good number of universities  in the South west and even nation wide too, are still been paid percentage salaries. Even though that we heard that the Federal Government, particularly,  has released the outstanding shortfall  owed universities. But unfortunately some Vice Chancellors have been very economical with the   truth, they have not reflected this development in the salaries of the staff.

Talking about SSANU in the Western zone,  the very sore point that we are having now, which is making our hearts to ache and bleed, is the case of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology(LAUTECH)Ogbomosho, as a union leader I feel pained that two Yoruba states been governed by the All Progressives Congress are saying that they cannot fund LAUTECH, and LAUTECH is gradually left to die a natural death. It is giving us very serious concern and headache, that things can be like that. In a situation where we have states in the North that do not have the kind of resources, the kind of Internally Generated Revenue(IGR), that do not have the kind of exposure that we have in the Western  part of the country, are sponsoring and funding their own universities, Oyo and Osun states are saying that they cannot fund LAUTECH, as a result students are languishing, staff are not paid salaries for between 8 to 9 months. They are now begging to offset the outstanding bills in LAUTECH, it is painful.

On this note, we in SSANU want to join our voice to the voices of Nigerians who are calling on the Federal Government to take over LAUTECH and give LAUTECH  a bail out. As a matter of fact the Federal Government should totally take over LAUTECH, the Federal Government should give LAUTECH a bail out, a bail out, specifically for LAUTECH is imperative. I also want to call on the OODUA owner states to take interest in the university, if the Federal Government will not take it over. And let all of them put hands together to fund  LAUTECH, because LAUTECH is a veritable institution, it was once the best university in Nigeria. Generally things have not improved much among SSANU members in the Western zone and nationwide.

Another sore point is the issue of University staff schools, Primary schools, it is also painful that over  six months after  SSANU got a  National Industrial Court Judgment in its favour, the Government has  failed to implement it. Worse still, a Minister whose office  was created by law, pretended that he is not aware of the  Judgment, and went ahead to issue a circular, stating that no Vice Chancellor should include the names of University Staff School Teachers in the budget of 2018. And that anybody that does that will be considered as willfully including the names of ghost workers in the budget. This is painful to us in SSANU and nobody in government has spoken about it. The Attorney General of the Federation, who I am aware has been served with  the Judgment, the Minister of Labour, who also has been served with the Judgment,  saw that circular and has not said anything about it. The Minister of Education saw the circular and  has not said anything about it. The executive Secretary of the National Universities Commission, probably, has seen that circular and he has not done anything about it. And our members who were sent out of the staff schools are languishing, they are still been paid half salaries, their names are not back on the payroll of the universities, despite the Judgment. And this is Democracy, where the rule of law is held in high esteem. All of this put together is making SSANU, particularly in the  Western zone very unhappy. We call on stakeholders  within the university system and people in government who are concerned with all these issues that we have raised, to, please use their good offices to do the needful, so that SSANU, Western zone and  SSANU nationwide can be very very happy with the Government and the system can move forward.

Some of Our Members Possess Fake Cerificates-Oyo TUC Chairman

Trade unions in Oyo state will not be able to defend will not be able to defend their members with fake certificates.

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This declaration was made by the Chairman  Public Service Joint Negotiating Council, who doubles as the Chairman of the state council of the Trade Union Congress(TUC)Comrade Olusola Ogundiran, in a chat with Federationews2day in Ibadan, Nigeria.

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”Any worker  who is been owed salaries has the right to agitate and feel uncomfortable, and with that if information is not adequate, it gives room for insinuations. But what I want to tell our workers is that since the screening began we have not kept quiet and we know and we also agree that we cannot stop  our employer from  determining the quality and quantity of the workers it needs. So, with that in mind, we actually tag along with the Government to screen and, unfortunately some of our members did not allow us to fight this case straightforward because in actual fact and truthfully, some of our members possess fake certificates, with which they gained employment”.

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”We have met Government and the Government has agreed that once an individual knows that he or she was wrongfully alleged, one can vilify one’s self, by approaching the institution  that warded the certificate and explaining to them that the certificate issued has been alleged to be forged. So once the institution clears this, all well and good. A  lot of them have been let off the hook and have been reintegrated back into the payroll of the state Government”.

”Be that as it may, some also possess fake certificates which we cannot vouch for and that is a dent on the image of the workers of the state and that one has actually not given us the voice to accuse the Government on if the exercise is a witch hunt or delay tactics. But I want to correct one impression, the screening exercise that is going on, although it has taken long, is not a lay off exercise, it is a screening exercise”.

Comrade Ogundiran also disclosed that the state Government was still expecting allocation from Abuja that was why it was yet to pay salaries up to May. ”I can tell you that had it been  the additional funds been expected from Abuja has come, the state Government has shown its readiness and willingness to defray the salary arrears up till May, but unfortunately, that has not been. So, as at now we are still expecting salaries for the month of March it should have been done too, but we were rightly briefed that the Honorable Commissioner for Finance was a little bit indisposed, so the approval of the salaries is yet to come  from Mr. Governor, but hopefully before the week runs out workers will begin to receive alert for the month of March”, he concluded.