The All Progressives Party (APC) in Osun State has explained why the state government reneged on the agreement it had with workers in the state over payment of salaries owed.
The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) had suspended the month-old strike after signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the state government, detailing how they wanted their salaries to be paid. But it appeared as though the government deceived the workers as the payment was not as agreed by the two parties.
In his reaction, APC’s Director of Publicity, Research and Strategy, Kunle Oyatomi said government’s initial stand was to pay the two months arrears fully as agreed with the labour leaders before the strike was suspended, “but there was a shortfall where the money was sourced from.
“In order not to disappoint the workers, the government thought that it is better to pay half and balance up later. I can assure you that the balance would be paid before the end of the week. You know that the government is yet to receive its own share of bailout from the Federal Government,” Oyatomi said.
The NLC Chairman, Jacob Adekomi, said it was agreed that salaries for the months of January and February 2015 would be paid for secondary schools’ teachers and those in the core civil service.
Reacting, the state government in a statement by Semiu Okanlawon Director, Bureau of Communication and Strategy, Office of the Governor appealed for calm, calling on the workers to show some understanding.
“The attention of the State Government of Osun has been drawn to a growing discontent among workers in the state on the partial payment of salaries to workers on Grade Level 08 and above.
“The government wishes to state that it realised the need to accommodate our senior citizens, the pensioners, within the limited funds available in order to ensure an all-inclusive payment that will alleviate the hardship that the delay in salaries and pensions had caused. It should be noted that happiness never decreases by being shared.
“We are committed to meeting our obligations to the workers as more funds become available to settle such.This period calls for deep understanding of our challenges and we appeal to all and sundry for cooperation in this regard,” the statement read.