Labour signs agreement with government to end strike in Nasarawa
By Anthony Maliki
The organized labour in Nasarawa State has signed an agreement with the state government, to bring to an end the over two weeks industrial action embarked by workers to press in their demands.
Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Nasarawa State chapter chairman, Comrade Yusuf Iya, announced the truce with the government, during a meeting at the Government House, on Monday.
Comrade Iya, who spoke on behalf of the organized labour in the state, comprising of the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and the Nigeria Medical Association (NMA), expressed gratitude to see the end of the impasse that saw workers down tools for over two weeks.
According to the labour leader, by agreeing to sign the new agreement, the state governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, has proven that he is a man of integrity, who adheres to due diligence in all his undertakings.
Comrade Iya emphasized that, the period of the industrial action embarked by workers in the state, has further served to confirm Engineer Sule’s level of commitment, passion and enthusiasm for workers of Nasarawa State.
The Nasarawa NLC chairman, while announcing the calling off of the strike action, prayed for the cordial relationship between government and the organized labour, to continue, stressing that labour will continue to partner with the present administration to the end.
Comrade Iya therefore, urged both labour leaders and workers in the state, to reciprocate the gesture by government, as according to him, one good turn deserves another.
The labour leader used the opportunity, to thank traditional rulers, as well as critical stakeholders, who took it upon themselves to intervene while the strike lasted, with a view to reaching amicable resolution of the crisis.
Comrade Iya, specifically thanked Hon. Ahmad Aliyu Wadada, for his intervention leading to the resolution of the impasse.
Responding, Nasarawa State governor, Engineer Abdullahi Sule, thanked leaders of the organized labour in the state, for giving him a window of opportunity, to enable him sign the agreement, bringing to an end, the over two weeks strike action by civil servants.
Engineer Sule particularly, thanked the labour leaders, who he said, clearly understood his position, stressing that, but for the window of opportunity provided by labour, he wouldn’t have signed and agreement he did not know how to fund.
“The suggestions you have given, also made me to believe that you also meant well for the state. Because if you have not given me the window of opportunity to be able to pay you, I won’t have signed,” the governor told the labour leaders.
According to Engineer Sule, the value addition that he is looking for from the organized labour, is for the civil service to work with his administration, so that Nasarawa State can become independent of reliance on federation account to survive.
The governor reiterated that, Nasarawa has the capacity, prospect of being able to stand on its feet, but that such could only happen, when the workers show commitment.
Earlier, Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Associate Professor Abdukarim Abubakar Kana, outlined the details of the agreement between the state government and the organized labour.
Key among the resolutions reached in the agreement are that,all pending promotions/annual increment at hand, for workers under government employ, that were due and pursuant to the report of the committee for implementation of outstanding promotions up to 2017, should be implemented with effect from August 2021.
That processing of all pending promotions from 2018 to date, be processed and implemented for all those that qualified, in line with the public service rules of Nasarawa State.
On the issue of minimum wage, it wa resolved that, having commenced the payment for workers on level 1-6, discussions and consequential adjustment for level 7 and above, will continue, through the standing committee on implementation of minimum wage.
Regarding the August 2016 salary arrears, it was agreed that payment of the last trenche of the outstanding August 2016 salary arrears, be paid immediately.
Part of the agreement was that, no worker shall be victimized on account of his or her participation in the industrial action, with the organized labour agreeing not to also victmize any worker that abstained from the strike action.
It was equally agreed that, government will introduce a development levy in the state, for all category of earners, to enhance revenue for the next 12 months, to enable government meets up with its commitments and existing obligations.
Recall that, workers in Nasarawa State, embarked on strike action regarding the implementation of over 13 years outstanding promotions, new national minimum wage implementation, among other sundry issues.