From Ahmed Kaigama, Bauchi
Bauchi state civil servants have given the Isa Yuguda led government three-day ultimatum within which to pay backlog of their unpaid April and May 2014 salaries, precisely Friday, May 23, 2014.
The workers recalled that the contract between them and the state government has no bearing with availability or non-availability of resources.
A statement signed by the state chairmen of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC), Hashimu Mohammed Gital and Mohammed Usman respectively, explained that the workers have worked and deserved their pay.
The labour leaders, in the signed NLC Bulletin No. 3 of May 20, 2014, described the delay in the payment of workers’ salary by the Bauchi state government as unethical and morally wrong.
It read in part: “That the workers’ salaries of April and May 2014 must be paid on or before Friday, May 23, 2014; the salary payment being delayed in Bauchi is unethical and morally wrong”.
They said the resolution for the demand to the government followed an emergency meeting of the NLC and TUC where it further resolved that government should restore all illegal deductions from workers’ salaries.
The meeting noted that if 10% deduction from workers’ salaries is panacea for regular payment of salaries as requested by the State governor, Isa Yuguda, then late payment of salaries be stopped.
The Bauchi labour chieftains at the Tuesday meeting observed that legal and illegal deductions the government inflicted on workers is about 20% of their salaries.
“The Government was asking for N200 million and has successfully gotten over N350 million, what reason do you have for the delay? Please pay our salary”, the workers frowned.
The meeting also resolved that government should forthwith pay all backlog of gratuity and pensions amounting to billions of naira to retired workers of Bauchi state.
It similarly asked that government should immediately release the National Housing Fund (NHF), Bauchi state workers’ contribution to the coffers of the Federal Mortgage Bank of Nigeria (FMBN). The workers hinged this demand for the release of the fund to the FMBN to the socio-economic problems bedeviling them, coupled with astronomical rates of rented houses.
The state NLC and TUC implored all workers of the state government to remain calm, peaceful, and law-abiding and wait for further development.
The workers’ demands were made shortly after the emergency meeting, conveyed to the state government through the Office of Head of Service, Mr. Abdon Dalla Gin and received on his behalf by the Permanent Secretary, General Administration, Alhaji Ahmed Saleh Jarmajo.
The motion was unanimously adopted by the House when it was put to vote.