By Daniel Agbo
Leadership of the Organised Labour and the Benue state government have agreed to work together to ensure that the state had “a realistic and manageable wage bill.”
National General Secretary of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Dr. Peter Ozo-Eson, who announced the decision of the unions in a communiqué he presented to newsmen at the Benue Peoples House, Makurdi,, said both government and labour would continue to dialogue on all issues or matters affecting the welfare of workers and pensioners in the state.
He said while the strike action embarked by staff in the state formerly remained suspended, as from Wednesday October 11, 2017, government is expected to source for funds and pay two months salaries and pension arrears owed them between Thursday and Friday this week.
The communiqué read in part: “As part of measures to ensure regular and monthly payment of salaries and pensions, government has also agreed to exercise fiscal discipline, control its spending and mop up areas of leakages as well as explore ways of boosting her Internally Generated Revenue. Both government and the labour unions have agreed to dialogue on all issues affecting the welfare of workers and pensioners in the state.
“In order to ensure that Benue has a realistic and manageable wage bill, the Joint Technical Committee set up by the state and national secretariats of NLC in its meeting of Monday, October 9, 2017, agreed that both government and the unions in the State should continue to work together to ensure improved resource flow and management.
“No worker shall be victimised for organising or participating in the strike action. Both government and the Labour also agreed to work to ensure the completion of the work of the committee verification of staff and salary currently chaired by the Deputy Governor of the state, Engr. Benson Abounu.”
Blueprint reports that Benue state chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Comrade Godwin Anya, his Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart, Comrade Ordue Tartenger, and the chairman, Joint Public Service Negotiating Council, Comrade Philip Ter Nongu, signed the communiqué on behalf of the Organised Labour.
On the part of government, the state Head of Service, Engineer George Ede, and the Commissioner for Finance, Hon. David Olofu, signed the document.