May Day: Osun workers jubilate as Oyetola approves seven major demands
TIMOTHY AGBOR, OSOGBO
The entire structures of the Osun State workforce have expressed joy as Governor Adegboyega Oyetola announced the approval of the seven major pressing demands of the members of the Joint Labour Movement in the state.
The workers, at the 2022 International Workers’ Day held at Osogbo City Stadium on Sunday, showered encomiums on the governor, describing him and his administration as unprecedented in the history of the state.
Governor Oyetola had approved for immediate implementation, the cash-backing of outstanding promotions for all categories of workers — 100% implementation of Consolidated Polytechnics and Colleges of Education Academic Staff Salary Structure (CONPCASS) for which the state has already been implementing 90%, as well as the immediate implementation of sixty-five (65) years retirement age for all categories of staff in the tertiary institutions.
Also, the governor ordered immediate commencement of the process of domestication of 65 years retirement age/40 years length of service for teachers in the state, and commencement of the process of reverting from the current Council Manager to Head of Local Government Administration and Head of Department to Director at the Local Government system.
The approval was also given to establishments matters, that is, conduct of outstanding promotions nominally from 2019 to date, regularisation, advancement and conversion, among others, while approval was also made on appointment of Permanent Secretaries in due course to put an end to the use of Coordinating Directors in Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
In his remarks, Governor Oyetola described workers as indispensable companions and engine room of his Administration, saying it is on record that Osun workers had laboured stringently in the collective quest to building a truly-revitalised economy that is alive to the deepest yearnings of the people and focus on creating an enduring wealth in pursuit of his Development Agenda.
He said his administration has made the issues affecting workers utmost priority amidst the scarce resources available to government in the face of competing demands saying “this we have embarked upon as a matter of deliberate policy in realisation of the fact that workers are critical to the success of any administration, being the engine room for the implementation of government policies.
“It is on record that we have not for once reneged on our commitment to the welfare of the entire workforce, including pensioners, since assumption of Office close to four years ago.
“We have been doing this in fulfilment of our electioneering campaigns. Not only have we been paying full salaries to all categories of workers in the State across all services and pensioners, we have also continued to sustain it.
“As a matter of deliberate policy, and contrary to what we inherited, salaries of all categories of workers, including leave allowances across the State and pension, are being paid in the last week of every month.
“We have consistently kept faith with this, having recognised that the workers and pensioners deserve their wages promptly to enable them to meet their needs as and when due.
“Apart from regular payment of salaries and pensions, it is on record that our administration ahead of several other States in the Federation, approved the implementation of the new Minimum Wage across board and for all categories of workers in the State with effect from November, 2020.
“Apart from the fact that government consistently paid salaries during the COVID-19 era when workers were asked to stay at home for several months, the minimum wage of N30,000.00 was approved during the period. Even though several other States that attempted and eventually embarked on it have since backed out or reverted to the old minimum wage of N18,000.00, our administration has continued to sustain it despite the multi-faceted demands competing for the meagre resources at the disposal of the government.
“Despite the fact that payment of salaries and pensions have continued to gulp a large chunk of our revenue, we have never retrenched any worker. Rather, we have embarked on absorbing back into the service, out of our magnanimity, some of the workers justifiably dismissed from service.
“While a few essential staff have been engaged, we have also regularised the appointment of a number of Staff to enhance productivity. We shall continue to do more”, he said.
Governor Oyetola thanked the state workforce for their toil, persistence, resilience, sacrifice and unflinching commitment that had helped to build a great State, put it on a solid footing, thus bequeathing to the coming generation, a delightful labour of love defined by its sheer splendour and purposefulness.
“The fact that this event, today, the last in the first term of this administration, is holding amidst an atmosphere of conviviality, mutual trust and understanding, is a worthy testimony to our shared vision and commitment.
“I will forever be grateful to you for working with us to show the world that it is possible to make governance work and devoid of the rancour and needless suspicion between the Labour Movement and government.
“The crowd of workers across the entire State being witnessed here today is a pointer to the cordial relationship between the organised Labour and government. It is a healthy development as it showcases you as dependable allies in the quest for our societal transformation drive.
“This friendly atmosphere has made it possible for our administration to achieve more with the limited resources at its disposal. The understanding and cooperation of the workers with the government, to the extent that the labour movement in the State has not even threatened a single strike, has assisted government in no small measure to live up to expectations”, Oyetola added.
Speaking, the State Chairman, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Comrade Jacob Adekomi, expressed profound gratitude to Governor Oyetola for granting the requests of workers in the state, saying the development will go a long way to further better their lives.
Adekomi said the express approval of the seven demands of workers was a clear testimony that, indeed, the Governor meant well for the workforce.
The labour leader who acknowledged that the administration of Governor Oyetola had indeed put Osun on the pedestal of socioeconomic rejuvenation as seen in the monumental achievements in all sectors, said the workers in the state were resolutely behind him and were ready to re-elect him for second term.
Adekomi described Governor Oyetola as an epitome of all that is good in humans, saying, “We shall always be grateful to you for having listening ears to our yearnings and for putting balms on our sores.
“We are very happy because Mr. Governor has made our day. He has shown to us once again that he is a promise keeper with the approval of our demands that have been ordered for immediate implementation.
“We shall continue to appreciate Mr. Governor for putting smiles back to our faces and for being a better bridge between then and now.
“Fellow Comrades, it will not be out of place for me to declare that in our State, we already have the antidote to insecurity, restiveness, retrogression, stagnancy and hopelessness and the antidote is none other than his Excellency Mr. Adegboyega Oyetola.
“He is a man who has a plan, the roadmap and the courage to press on till Osun State gets to eldorado; a man who through financial re-engineering is shaking the state, quietly turning the landscape to a spectacle pleasant the eyes to behold; a man who has chosen to get the rainbow in the cloud of Osun and a man who believes enduring positive change happens, one step at a time and a man who remains the rising sun, after the storm that we witnessed as workers in the State,” he added.
In their separate remarks, the State Chairman, Trade Union Congress, TUC, Comrade Adekola Adebowale and State Chairman, Joint Negotiation Council, JNC, Comrade Bayo Adejumo, reaffirmed their loyalty and support for the administration saying “we are solidly behind you and your Administration.”