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Ondo State Government on Monday began moves to avert strike action by workers over unpaid entitlements.
It said payment of some of the entitlements demanded by labour unions has been approved by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.
A letter signed by State Chairman of the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) and dated 10th July, 2020, Comrade Oluwaniyi Fabunmi, had said the strike action would be the first in Akeredolu’s administration.
Among the demands made were payment of December 2016 salary for local government and SUBEB staff; January 2017 salary for all government workers; 2018 and 2019 leave bonuses; February 2020 to June 2020 salary deductions; COVID-19 hazard allowance for health workers and 50 percent pension arrears for November 2018.
Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Donald Ojogo, told reporters in Akure that special attention was paid to seven items, which the government and leadership of labour unions decided to focus upon at several meetings.
Ojogo said Akeredolu has approved full payment of deductions for the state from February to June 2020; payment of 68% June salary and pension of the local government service; 2018 leave bonus for workers for grade seven to 17 in all services; Special COVID-19 hazard and risk allowance for May 2020 for medical and health workers be paid without any delay and 2019 Leave bonus for workers for 2019 in all services.
He said the decisions were agreed upon by labour leaders.
According to him: “This government has enjoyed a robust relationship with labour. Mr. Governor has displayed an unusual mien in his relationship with the workers.
“He has displayed this in many regards. He took these steps to ensure that welfare of workers remained paramount.
“It is not because of elections after all elections were not around when he decided to commence payment of seven months backlog salary arrears of workers.
“It is not possible to clap for ourselves. The onus is on the workers to reciprocate this gesture.
“We appeal workers to be patients as the payment process are undertaken. In a matter days, the payment will be implemented without further delay.”