NLC STRIKE: AKSG, LABOUR REACH AGREEMENT

The Akwa Ibom State Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress
(NLC) has reached an agreement with the State government over
the purported planned strike action by the union. This fact was
made known to our reporter by the Special Adviser to Governor
Udom Emmanuel on Labour, Productivity and Manpower
Planning Hon. Ekpenyong Enyinna during an Online conversation
after a meeting between the government and the union in Uyo.
Rising from its State Executive Council meeting on Friday, 25th
February 2016, the Akwa Ibom State Council of the Nigeria Labour
Congress (NLC) had made several demands that it expects
government to meet which include; the Promotion of civil
servants ,teachers , local government workers and payment of all
outstanding promotion arrears to entitled workers, as well as
reversal of all plans and actions aimed at a policy of “promotion
without arrears”; Payment without further delay of all outstanding
gratuities to all categories of retired workers (living and dead) since
2009; Salaries to teachers absorbed since the 2013 “take over” of
Community Schools by Government and teachers, nurses,
doctors, house officers, and other categories of civil servants
recruited since August 2014 and thereafter; Arrears of Salaries of
Local Government workers in Ikot Ekpene, Ikono, Ini, Abak,
Urueoffong/Oruko, etc; Arrears of Salaries to 77 primary school
teachers left out during the inconclusive biometric exercise since
2014; Arrears of salary (December 2015 and January 2016) to
primary school teachers left out in the inconclusive verification
exercise by the Ministry of Local Government and Chieftaincy
Affairs; Salary to SUBEB teachers in Junior Secondary Schools ;
Backlog of leave grants to teachers and local government workers
; Release of Report of State Executive Council Committee on newly
recruited civil servants, teachers, nurses, doctors , and other
health workers; Harmonization of pensions in line with the law,
which stipulates upward review of pensions every five years, or
whenever a new minimum wage comes into effect; Refund of
outstanding balances in respect of deductions from workers’
Salaries in the name of 7.5% Contributory Pension Scheme ; Full
implementation of CONHESS to nurses and other health workers;
Disengage forthwith, the services of Consultants who appear to be
instrument through which Government tacitly downsizing the
States workforce; Restore the payment of full Salaries to affected
staff in Akwa Ibom State College of Education, Afaha Nsit in line
with provisions of extant agreements; Urgent recapitalize Akwa
Savings and Loans Limited and ensure that the bank stays afloat to
prevent another set of Akwa Ibom indigenes from losing their
jobs; Withdrawal of the obnoxious circular against the statutory
deductions in respect of workers cooperatives and other welfare
schemes, as this has led to obliteration of the critical social
insurance safety net for workers; Review of the controversial
redeployment of Staff of Ibom Airport Development Company
(IADC) to other Ministries; Release of all outstanding check-in off
dues to all affected Industrial Unions and the NLC; Recovery of
primary school counterpart funding from the Federal Government
and the recovery from Federal Government of more than #2
billion in respect of arrears of severance entitlements owed to
Akwa Ibom indigenes who were disengaged from AKSCON plc in
Ikot Abasi.
The high-powered meeting which was chaired by the Head of
Service Akwa Ibom State Mrs. Ekerebong Akpan dealt extensively
and satisfactorily with each demand made by the union, the
meeting ended in a peaceful agreement with the union resolving
to join efforts to achieve a productive economy. The union
pledged their unalloyed support to the state government and
however observed that in spite of the dwindling oil prices,
government should look into building human capacity in the civil
service.
In his Reaction, Hon. Enyinna said government has done a lot
within a few months in the office and is still focused on delivering
its promises to the people, hence the influx of investors into the
state. He also stated that Governor Udom Emmanuel has the
interest of Akwa Ibom people at heart, which is why all workers
have been paid up to date and on time. He further stated that the
Governor’s decision to pay gratuities to retirees who were owed
for over ten years is beyond leadership. “It all about conscience,
Governor Udom Emmanuel has the heart of compassion, equity,
fair play and justice!” He said.
Hon. Enyinna applauded Gov. Udom for taking positive steps to
correct the anomalies in civil service and going further to approve
the payment of outstanding salaries to newly recruited staff who
have been authenticated as well as pay pension gratuities incurred
over the years
He also advised those that have not been paid yet to exercise
patience as contacts have been made with universities and other
bodies to verify the authenticity of their credentials and other
documents, following the huge employment racketeering
witnessed during the last recruitment exercise into the state civil
service.
Reacting to the outcome of the meeting, Comrade Etekamba Awa
said he was enlightened following certain plausible details revealed
by the government to the union during the meeting. This, he said,
has restored the lost confidence workers had in the government
and that he is sure the government will make immediate efforts to
fulfil its promises to workers in Akwa Ibom State. He however
sued for calm and called on all workers to play their own part in
seeing that Akwa Ibom rises to its faith of greatness.
Present at the meeting were the Head of Civil Service Mrs.
Ekereobong Akpan, Commissioner for Education Mr. Aniekan
Akpan, SA to Governor Udom Emmanuel on Labour and
Productivity Hon. Ekpenyong Enyinna and the leadership of the
Akwa Ibom State Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress

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