In Kogi Labour suspends strike after reaching agreement with government

The state labour leader said the union decided to suspend the strike having entered into an agreement with the government.

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Governor Yahaya Bello play

Governor Yahaya Bello

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The  Organised Labour, Kogi chapter, has called off its strike action, officials say.

The suspension is with effect  from Friday, November 10, 2017.

The chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Kogi, Comrade Onu Edoka, disclosed this after a meeting the state government.

He said the labour union decided to suspend the strike having entered into an agreement with the government.

The truce meeting was said to have held at the Office of the Deputy Governor of Kogi State.

Confirming the mutual agreement, a statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Deputy Governor, Akor Sylvester, said the agreements were signed after much consultations by both parties to bring about lasting peace between the workers and government.

Part of the agreement signed by the parties reads: "That the 'clock- in  and  out' machines, which Government   instituted   as   Electronic Attendance Register would be test-run for the next   three (3)   months   starting   from   10th November   2017   and   ending   10th  February, 2018,   during   which   its   efficiency   and functionality   will   be   determined   by   a Committee   comprising   Government   and Organized   Labour   representatives.

"That the print-out of the machine and the   existing Manual   Attendance   Register will   be juxtaposed on   monthly basis   by the   said committee to   determine the   degree of efficiency of the ‘clock-in and out’ machines.

"That the Committee of   Government and   Organized Labour are   to discuss   with the   view of resolving all the grey areas and peculiarities surrounding the system, while a Desk Officer in each   MDA   be appointed   to handle   the records.

"That on   no account   would the   machines be used to determine the payment of salaries to workers until the Committee of Government and Organized Labour adjudged the efficiency of the machine after the expiration of the three(3) months in February, 2018.

"That   the   payment   of   salary   and   pension   to workers   and   pensioners   respectively   for   the month   of   August   2017   would   be   full   and comprehensive i.e All cleared staff including the   pardoned   staff   and   the   Omitted/New retirees will be pay-rolled and paid their full month salary and pension respectively on or before Friday 17th November, 2017, while all   cases  of   arrears   of salaries and  pensions will   be   scheduled   for payment as  funds   are available based on the understanding between Labour and Government."

On the Contributory Pension Scheme, the parties agreed that since it is mandatory by law that workers should key into the scheme, and the Bill to domesticate the law is before the State House of Assembly. It was agreed that all grey areas noticed   by   Organized   Labour be presented at a Public Hearing to be conducted by the   State   House of  Assembly. 

The parties also further agreed that Organised Labour should specifically be invited for this purpose. Also, Government and Labour agreed to work within the confines of the law. It was unanimously agreed that the Wholistic Report of the Screening Exercise with detailed analysis of   the fully   cleared and   un-cleared workers MDA by MDA be made available to the organized   labour within two weeks.

On PAYE, it was agreed by the parties that Government should execute the PAYE within the confines of the existing law. It was   also agreed that   all cases   of arrears   of promotions of   2013   be released to the beneficiaries immediately,   while the   process for promotions for 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 be put in place. More so, that the   Annual   Leave   Bonus and Annual Increment should be scheduled in line with the availability of funds.

On all other workers   demands  i.e.  Weigh-in allowance to media workers, implementation of CONHESS  to Health Sector workers and 27.5% Teachers Specific Allowance were all noted for subsequent action by the government.

ALSO READ: Bello vows not to pay striking workers

On 2015 employment, Government promised to look   into the   plea of   labour as   the need arises. It was agreed that a Standing Committee of Government and   Labour Representatives be put in   place to interface regularly to   avoid incessant conflicts. 

Labour and government also agreed that no worker shall be victimized or   punished for   any role   or the perceived   role played   in the   course of   the strike action.

In view   of the   above,  the organised labour, therefore, suspended the strike   action embarked upon   by the workers with effect from Friday,10th November 2017.

Speaking, the Deputy Governor, Elder Simon Achuba, who led the government side in the agreement signing, thanked the labour leaders for their understanding and said the government is ever ready to work with them.

He commended Governor Yahaya Bello for providing the opportunity for the dispute to be resolved, praying God to continue to guide and protect him at all times.

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