Local Government workers in the eight local government areas in Bayelsa state have rejected Governor Seriake Dickson’s proposed plan to pay just one month out of about 10 months salary owed.
The council workers represented by the Joint State Administrative Council of Medical Health Workers Union of Nigeria and the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, lamented that many of their members had become impoverished in a seven-point communiqué, made available to journalists after a meeting in Yenagoa, on Thursday.
The workers, who insisted that they had been suffering, owing bank loans and school fees, said one month’s salary was unacceptable and unthinkable.
They demanded the immediate release of three months LGA allocations from the federation account and the Federal Government bailout funds to the state government totaling about N2.5bn for the commencement of payment of the about N5bn salary arrears as at March 2016.
The Bayelsa state workers also threatened to shut down the eight LGAs in the state if legitimate workers, particularly those who were employed before the first tenure of Governor Seriake Dickson were sacked, adding that such a plan to sack the workers was unacceptable to the unions.
The angry workers further warned that such an infringement on the administrative autonomy of local governments was unacceptable and may result in the “‘Imo State’ treatment.”
The unions also condemned the prolonged staff verification, saying the exercise had brought untold hardship to workers and resulted in avoidable deaths and sicknesses of many employees.
They also diclosed that it had withdrawn with immediate effect their representatives from the councils’ staff verification committees set up by Dickson. Citing the inconsistencies and complications arising from the terms of reference of the verification committees as reasons for pulling out.
The communique was signed by the state Chairman, NULGE, Akpos Ekiegha; Secretary, NULGE, Tonye Jaja; state Chairman, MHWUN, James Adama; and the Secretary, MHWUN, Arafat Nwibani.