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NLC and its catalogue of demands in Bayelsa

       .Demands payment of salary arrears in Bayelsa
        .Calls for implementation of promotion, annual incremental steps
Comrade John Bipre Ndiomu.  State Chairman, NLC
   Bayelsa State Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress in conjunction with the Trade Union Congress have enjoined the state government to consider as a matter of urgent to clear the backlog of salary arrears owed workers in the state with the federal allocation accruing to the state.
Rear Admiral John Jonah
Governor Henry Seriake Dickson
   The group also jointly called on the state government to commence without further delay implementation of incremental annual steps which was stop since 2013 under the present administration, describing the act as against the civil service rules as practice in Nigeria.
   The call was contained in the keynote address jointly presented by NLC and TUC recently to mark the 2018 Workers Day Celebration at Peace Park in Yenagoa, read by the Nigeria Labour Congress State Chairman, Comrade John Bipre Ndiomu.
   Also speaking on condition of anonymity, a cross-section of the workforce in the state who spoke to Global Overseer described the delay to implement incremental annual steps since 2013 as unconstitutional, unfair, oppressive and a ploy to under develop the workers in the state. The workers wondered why only Bayelsa state government would come up with such policies describing it as uncalled for.
   They lamented that since 2013 under the present administration, workers have been denied of their right to have access to huge sum of their lawful money which would have help them to meet up some of their financial challenges and called for change of heart.
  They also called on the state government to commence payment of promotion arrears which they said is right in the civil service which the present administration has been deliberating delaying to implement.
   According to them what workers in the state are passing through as aforementioned has not been practice in other states of the federation and therefore call for immediate implementation henceforth to give workers in the state a sense of belonging.
  The Nigeria Labour Congress in the state also demanded from the state government to ensure that the ongoing civil service reform in the state intended to reposition the public service for better productivity is carried out in line with the public service rules.
   Labour asserted emphatically, enjoining the state government not to terminate any worker wrongly placed at their points of engagement. Rather, the grade levels of such staff should be corrected and properly placed, adding that the reforms should be handled with utmost care.
   The labour body in the state under the visionary and pragmatic leadership of comrade Ndiomu further appealed to the state government to give further directive to pay workers salaries affected by the redeployment exercise to strengthen government workers relationship.
   He called on the state government to fund the public service training institute to carry out programme in the civil service to train and retraining of civil servants in the state year-in, year out, stressing that the gesture would  show its importance as the civil service remains the life wire of government policy drive.
   The Nigeria Labour Congress while commending the state government for setting up of a committee to revisit teachers that were wrongly retired as a result of physical verification exercise with a view to recalling the affected teachers, pleaded for release of January and February salaries of genuine staff. The body also appealed for release of February and March check-off dues from SUBEB, pointing out that it is illegal to with hold check off due as the money belongs to the workers.
  Comrade Ndiomu further appealed to the state government to pay the 18% minimum wage salary arrears to teachers and also to direct local government councils in the state to absorb teachers who have been cleared by the judicial panel of enquiry set up by the state government as councils refused to pay the affected teachers.
   Other demands by labour from the Bayelsa State government include payment of weigh-in allowances owed media workers in the state, payment of gratuity and death benefits to the affected persons, provision of infrastructure and to also ensure full accreditation and affiliation for Isaac Jasper Boro College of Education Sagbama, provision of infrastructure and ensure accreditation of programme at College of Health Technology Otuogidi to attract enrolment from other states as well as to constitute and inaugurate the governing council of the International Institute of Tourism and Hospitality among others.
   Ndiomu on behalf labour commended the state governor, Hon. Henry Seriake Dickson for performing the foundation laying ceremony for the Labour House in the state, describing the gesture as a clear manifestation of the love he had for the workforce in the state and his burning desire to improve on the working condition of the entire civil servants.
   The Bayelsa State Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral John Jonah, who represented his boss, Governor Seriake Dickson, commended the state workforce for their understanding during the trying times of recession, noting that the ongoing reforms and other policies are to improve the welfare of workers.
  He reaffirmed  the state government earlier pledge to pay two months’ salary arrears which was not feasible,  explaining that the finances of the state is yet to stabilize citing the recent shortfall of N700million in the monthly allocation, saying that the present administration will continue to give priority to workers welfare.
    The deputy Governor thanked the leadership of the organized labour in the state for their continuing support and solidarity and urged them to sustain the productive partnership.

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