…as low turnout mar celebration
Bayelsa workers Tuesday, gathered in Yenagoa, the State capital to mark the May Day Celebration with a declaration of support for the ongoing Civil Service reforms embarked upon by the administration of Governor Seriake Dickson.
Though the 2018 Workers’ Day celebration in Bayelsa State recorded a low turnout, as the Peace Park, venue of the celebration was relatively empty, compare to previous year’s celebration.
Our correspondent in Yenagoa observed that many workers shunned the celebration due to the ongoing civil service reforms carryout by the state government, where many civil servants are penciled down for retrenchment, while some have their salary withheld.
Some of the workers who gathered at the venue under different Labour unions and affiliations, embarked on solidarity March and received salute from the State Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral John Jonah, declared that though the ongoing reforms in the civil service should be handled with care, ” the reforms are intended to reposition the public service for better productivity. ”
Comrade Bipre John Ndiomu, the Bayelsa State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), while reading the joint position of the labour Unions, the Trade Union Congress (TUC), said the labour unions believes in building institutions that will sustain the policies of government for future generations.
According to him, ” we are of the view that the reforms are intended to repositiin the public service for better productivity. Congress therefore calls on government to ensure that the reform are in line with the public service rules.”
The NLC Chairman however called on the State Government to consider redeployment and not termination of appointment when considering the issue of wrongly place workers at their point of engagement, “Labour again, wishes to appeal to government to ensure that the ongoing reforms will not lead to the sacking of any genuine workers in service. ”
Most of the Labour Unions and it’s affiliates that participated in the match including the Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ) agreed on the position of the NLC Chairman and insisted that the state government should hand down the directive for the payment of salaries to workers affected by redeployment.
“Training of workers, implementation of promotions and incremental steps and revisiting of the physical Verification exercise in primary schools should be considered. Congress however appreciates the setting up of a committee to revisit teachers that were wrongfully retires as a result of the physical Verification exercise with a view to recalling the affected teachers. ”
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, the ongoing reforms and other policies to improve the welfare of workers.
Jonah said though the finances of the State is yet to get out of rough waters with the recent shortfall of N700million in the monthly allocation, the present administration will continue to give priority to workers Welfare.
He also commended labour for always making avenue available to hear from government in order to reconcile all difference, adding that the anything that will be done during the civil service reform will be in the overall interest of the workers.