Fresh crisis appears brewing between the Nigeria Labour Congress and Governor Rauf Aregbesola over the directive of the state government to begin fresh verification exercise for the entire workforce.
The state government had in a circular signed by the Permanent Sectary, Ministry of Finance, Mr. S.A Aina and dated September 7th, 2015 sent to head of government ministries, departments, agencies and tertiary institutions asked workers to fill a certain form and attach ‘required documents.’
The circular with reference number AD.2/405/7 read, ” As part of the ongoing efforts by the state government of Osun to tackle headlong the issue of the huge monthly wage bill , the governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, has approved a clean-up of the payrolls of both the state and local governments.
“This development is a further step on the efforts being made by various committees put in place for staff audit across the state.
“Deriving from the foregoing, every member of staff of your ministry/department/
is expected to complete a copy of the forms attached to this letter
(with the required documents) and return same not latter than Thursday, 10th September, 2015, as arranged in the table below.”
However, the Osun State Joint Public Service Negotiating Council in a letter written to Aregbesola and signed by the Chairman, Bayo Adejumo; Secretary, R.A. Oyegbami; Chairman NLC, Jacob Adekomi and NLC Secretary, R.A Adeyemi, rejected the submission of primary school certificate which they said the government asked workers to submit for the verification exercise.
The workers said they expected the government to commence payment of backlog of salaries at this time and not to add to the burden of already impoverished workers who had not been paid for months.
The letter read in part, ” That the labour movement rejects the submission of primary school leaving certificate as a condition for payment of outstanding salaries and humbly call on your honour to direct the immediate withdrawal of the circular which we believe does not enjoy blessing in the first place.”
But the Head of Service in the state, Mr. Sunday Owoeye, in a statement said submission of primary school certificate was for low cadre workers and not for all categories.
He said, “It needs to be stated clearly that in the scheme for public service workers, it is only those who are appointed as cleaners, messengers and guards that are expected to present their primary six certificates. Do you ask Doctors, Engineers, Pharmacists and other cadres in that category to come and present primary school certificates?
“Form filling is very important and you can see that in why institutions place much emphasis on it. If you are filling a form, you are not compelled to fill everything. You will have provision for “Not Applicable”. If the question is not applicable to you, then you put it there. Primary six certificate is not a compulsory condition.
“The impression these people are now giving is that the circular says that if you don’t present your Primary six certificate, you can’t receive your salary, that impression is mischievous. So, it is not correct that all workers are being asked to present such certificates before they are paid.”
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