The strike embarked upon by workers in Osun State, following non-payment of their salaries by the state government, was on Monday suspended by labour leaders in the state.
Mr. Jacob Adekomi, state Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), announced to journalists that the strike had been suspended, adding that the decision was taken after the government and labour representatives had signed a Memorandum of Understanding on the issue.
Adekomi said workers agreed to suspend the strike which started on May 26 because the state government would begin payment of January and February 2015 salaries as from yesterday while the remaining salaries would be paid with the bailout still being expected from the Federal Government.
In the MoU, a copy of which was made available to journalists, it showed that Mr. Sunday Owoeye, Head of Service, led the permanent secretaries of the Ministries of Justice, Finance and Human Resources and Capacity Building/Public Service to sign the document.
The NLC chairman; Secretary, Rufus Adeyemi, Chairman, Joint Public Service Negotiating Council, Bayo Adejumo and Secretary JPSNC, Richard Oyegbami, signed the documents on behalf of the labour unions.
The MoU reads, “Both parties, therefore, agreed to enter into this Memorandum of Understanding in anticipation of the bailout expected from the Federal Government on the issue of settlement of salary arrears and to show the state government’s commitment to the welfare of its workforce, having in mind the need to collect data towards the completion of the physical verification exercise of workers and retirees in the public service.
“The labour unions will suspend the ongoing strike action on the basis of the Memorandum of Understanding to allow all public service personnel audit and verification exercise as well as auditing of local government staff/primary school teachers and retirees take place.”
The document stated that the screening exercise was not meant to witch-hunt or retrench any worker, adding that the exercise would enable the government to know the actual number of workers in the employment of the state.
They added that the state would also know the actual wage bill of workers and the number of pensioners and the amount to be spent to defray the bills.
By Patrick Aigbokhan