By Niyi Olutunde, Akure
Organized labour unions in Ondo state have have warned Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of illegally introducing modulated salary payment in the state, describing the 80% September 2016 salary arrears paid from the second tranche of the Paris club refund as a gift.
Rising from an emergency meeting held at NLC office at Alagbaka Akure on Saturday, the affiliate unions of JNC, NLC and TUC said “despite earlier letter to the governor to advise his administration against modulated salary payment like a neighbouring state, the state government still directed its accountant general on Friday to start paying eighty percent of September last year salaries’ arrears.”
The meeting, which was presided over by NLC Chairman, Comrade Bosede Daramola and her TUC counterpart Comrade Soladoye Ekundayo, the labour leaders noted that meetings held with some government’s representatives and the governor himself only agreed on the utilization of the second tranche of the 75% Paris debt refund for workers on grade levels one to 14.
According to them, the generality of workers of the state viewed the 80% payment made on Friday as a gift and not salary until government made full payment of the September 2016 salary arrears.
They said it was too authoritarian, erroneous and elementary for any political appointee to be claiming that the present administration did not owe workers, adding that it was well known that state governors statutorily inherited both assets and liabilities of his predecessors.
“If Governor Akeredolu’s administration can spend money left in account by his predecessor, he should also pay in full the debt and salaries owed by Mimiko’s government whenever funds are available instead of using his aides to attack labour Unions . We will do everything to reject introduction of percentage salary in Ondo state, no matter of government propaganda to blackmail us”, the Union said.
The organised Labour also frayed the State Head of Service, Mr Toyin Akinkuotu for not doing enough to protect the interest of Ondo state workers under the present administration, in the same way they chided the Senior Special Assistant on Special Duties and Strategy to the governor, Dr Doyin Odebowale.
Odebowale was accused of using unprinted names and unguided words against the indigenes of the state and labour leaders warning, that the labour movement would be forced to ex-ray his antecedents as an uncultured personality who would not change.
They argued that government is continuum, noting that the Paris club refund, which Akeredolu’s administration was claiming was not enough to pay salary and pension in full was a dividend of his predecessors.
The Union further cautioned political appointees that they should always remember that running of government was not a personal or private business, hence the need for those in the helm of affairs to always obey the extant laws of the civil service.
“Elected and appointed political office holders only hold offices in trust for indigenes as no worker would accept gradual introduction of percentage or fractional salary in the state irrespective of political blackmail or propaganda by the Akeredolu’s administration”.
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