By Opeyemi Aremu-Gbemiro
Ado Ekiti – The organised labour in Ekiti State has appealed to Gov. Kayode Fayemi not to contemplate salary reduction of the state public servants despite the slump in the revenues of the state government.
The union said that the lockdown by the government to combat the spread of COVID-19 pandemic had continued to take its effect on the people of the state.
It pleaded that the government should not consider slashing workers salaries.
NAN reports that the unions: the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC), also requested the immediate payment of outstanding salaries by Gov. Fayemi , to ease the effect of the ongoing lockdown on the workers.
It would be recalled that Gov. Fayemi had, on Tuesday, announced the slashing of his salary; those of his Deputy, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi and other political appointees by 50 per cent.
The unions spoke at a press conference jointly addressed by the Chairmen of NLC, Mr Kolapo Olatunde and his counterpart from the TUC, Mr Sola Adigun in Ado Ekiti ahead of the annual Workers’ Day normally marked on May 1.
The NLC boss, Mr Kolapo Olatunde, in his address said that COVID-19 had been affecting every worker.
He said that this time was most appropriate for the state government to assuage the sufferings of the workers by promptly paying their salaries as well as the palliatives.
“We are still being owed three months’ salary arrears, outstanding leave bonuses, backlog of promotion arrears, while the minimum wage is yet to be implemented across board.
“As of today, the local government workers and primary school teachers are owed six months’ salary arrears while secondary school teachers and civil servants are owed three months respectively.
“We have waited for over one year and we have done our best and make the right sacrifices.
“The national president of the NLC gave me a matching order to tell our governor that the salaries of our workers can’t take them home and there shouldn’t be any reason for government to think of pay cut in Ekiti”.
Olatunde appreciated the government and health workers in Ekiti for working hard to reduce the number of victims of COVID-19 to eight .
“The reduction in the number was because the government woke up early to take precautionary measures”.
The TUC Chairman, Mr Sola Adigun, said what workers were collecting in Nigeria was never a living wage , expressing optimism that they would breathe a sigh of relief someday.
“We thank the governor and members of his cabinet for sacrificing part of their living wage to fight the menace of COVID-19. Workers are not collecting a living wage, so we are not expecting any reduction in our salaries”.
Adigun advised the government to deploy more energy toward promoting the welfare of the people and devise ways to defeat COVID-19 pandemic, Boko Haram insurgents , kidnapping, corruption and all manners of criminalities.
The TUC boss advised the Ekiti government to encourage farming among civil servants, in the spirit of diversification, to halt sole dependence on Federal allocations.