Members of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) with other sister Unions in Bayelsa State, on Tuesday shut the Bayelsa State Treasury building over non payment of salaries, arrears and non-implementation of the new salary structure.
The state workers, who were led by their different chapter Chairmen and Secretaries arrived the building before 7am leaving the workers and the Accountant general.
Addressing the workers, State Chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Julius Laye, noted that the current government is not considering the plight of the workers of the state, adding that they were all aware that the allocation for the state has been sent to the state but they were wondering why salaries are delayed.
“Our situation is so pathetic, we need assurance that we will be paid, schools have resumed and teachers are expected to get their pay. Parents need their pay to settle bills of their wards in school.”
The pensioners are also not paid and they are elderly persons who depend on this small pay for their livelihood.
“We are aware that FAAC has met and sent the allocation to the state but the cause of the delay is what we are wondering at. States that don’t get as much as we get started paying the new salary structure, so what are we talking about. We are also aware that some persons have been moving monies from here, and that is the reason we are staging this our position.
“We want the Accountant General to come and state the position of the salaries since she’s also a worker like us, we will hold her resposition if the government fails, we will not wait till the next week proposed by the government.”
According to the State Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade John Ndiomu, said all we are here to get his our January salaries and nothing less, adding that we will not leave here until we are given full assurance that the salaries will be paid today or tomorrow.
Ndiomu, also stated that politicians have paid themselves, so what is the money waiting for in the bank.
“The position of government is not acceptable, our own position is that we will get our pay if not tomorrow all the workers will come out in protest.”
In her brief, the Chairman, National Association of Nigerian Nurses & Midwives (NANNM), Comrade, Andabai Mbeleokpo, said the anger of workers in the state is salary delay and non-implementation of the new minimum wage.
In December, more than half of the workforce of the state didn’t received their salaries, so we are not leaving until something substantial is done.
In his reaction, the Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Kemela Okara, noted that government has made its point clear on the minimum wage issue and his commitment to implementing the new structure.
He assured the workers of payment of their salaries next week before the new government takes over, appealing that for as long as workers of Treasury can’t access their offices there’s nothing that will happen.