The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) Cross River State Council has given Cross River State Government seven (7) days ultimatum beginning from December 13th to implement all the agreements reached on July 2nd 2017.
The Union had on July 2nd 2017 suspended its industrial action, when the Union and state government signed Memorandum of Understand (MoU) to implement all the agreement.
In a communiqué read by the State Chairman of NLC, Comrade John Ushie after the State Executive Council (SEC) meeting in Calabar, the Union expressed displeasure at the attitude of Governor Ben Ayade and the state government.
“At the end of State Executive Council (SEC) meeting, SEC in session viewed it seriously and expressed disappointment with the Cross River State Government for failure to honour some of the critical aspects of the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was agreed on July 2nd 2017.
“Amongst them were: Failure of government to pay gratuity to the retirees from June 2013 to date. After the strike action that was suspended on 2nd July 2017, the government, promised to pay the retirees without further pressure or delay, the following week but up till today, nothing was done.
The Union said that the agreement was not kept and government has jettisoned the agreement again and noted that the Paris Club refund was specifically meant for payment of arrears of salaries, arrears of gratuity and pensions.
“Permit me to mention here that for Cross River State, from 2015 till date was not owed any arrears of salaries but they owed arrears of gratuity and pensions.
“For us as Labour, we thought that when this money came, government will use it to clear the arrears of gratuity and use the remaining for payment of salaries, as it was agreed initially but our disappointment is that government did not keep to that agreement
“Governor Ayade has told us that the Paris Club refund will be used for the 2014 gratuity today as it stands, government of Cross River State is owing gratuity from 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 and soon will shall enter 2018.
Comrade Ushie said that the Government has also failed the people of the state and workers by refusing to implement the promotion. “The SEC in session is aggrieved at this action.”
Government, according to him, has failed to regularize the state payroll.
“Since 2016 when the government employed consultants to handle the payroll system, we pointed out that these consultants will not be able to handle it, because we had in place a perfect payroll system where people from other states came to copy us, today, government was paying half and distorted salaries to our members etc.
“There is this conflict that the Accountant General Office will pay salary this month and next month Head of Office will pay,confusion everywhere.
“Again, SEC viewed it with dismay the selective payment of impress, we have said it and continue to say it that there is no government that function well without impress but nothing was done, the civil service is grinding to a halt. In Cross River State, Commission is collecting money to process document because there is no impress.
He said all efforts made to reach out to Governor Ayade and government on the resolution stated above did not yield fruitful result, we have done that severally in writing, whatsup messages, text messages and social media but no respond.
“Consequent upon these, SEC in session has given the state government seven (7) days ultimatum with effect from December 13th to fully implement the MOU signed on July 2nd 2017.
“Failure to do this, the state shall witness industrial action they did not dream of as the Union will resume the suspended strike action” he stated.
By Edem Bassey, Calabar