Minimum Wage: Labour kicks, as Fear of Mass Retrenchment grips Ekiti Workers

By: SUNSHINETRUTH

Weeks after the disengagement of 200 workers of the Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti, there is palpable tension in Ekiti State over another alleged plot by the state government to embark on mass sack of workers in the state.

It was learnt that 10,000 of its core civil service may be affected, even as fever of the alleged disengagement gripped many workers in the state.

It was gathered from a reliable source that the proposed mass sack was to enable the state government to be able to implement the new #30,000 minimum wage.

The mass disengagement, according to a source in Office of the Head of Service, who spoke with The Nation on condition of anonymity, will cut across all the government’s tertiary institutions, Ministries, Departments and Agencies in the state.

This was coming barely a month after over 900 staffers of the Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti, were sacked.

It was learnt that the affected workers were those in Ekiti State College of Education, Ikere Ekiti, Ekiti State Local Government Service Commission (NULGE), Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State, Ekiti State Water Corporation, Ekiti School of Health technology, Ijero Ekiti, Ekiti State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) Primary School Teachers Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) Secondary School Teachers, Hospital Management Board, among others.

Source said government’s alleged moves was based on the reports of the various visitation panels to the institutions, which was accepted by the government and later released as white paper.

Meanwhile, the organised labour in Ekiti has petitioned Governor Kayode Fayemi to express its displeasure and outright disapproval over what it called “arbitrary sack of its members”.

The labour unions added that most disturbing was the rumour milling rounds that the gale of sack, which had hit the Ekiti State University(EKSU) and Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH), will blow across all government’s tertiary institutions, Ministries, Departments and Agencies.

The Chairman, Trade Union Congress, Ekiti chapter, Com. Sola Adigun, said the labour deemed the letter highly expedient, owing to insinuation that Governor Fayemi was not aware of the mass sack in EKSU and EKSUTH.

The letter dated January 3, 2020 and addressed to Governor Fayemi, was jointly signed by the Secretary, Nigeria Labour Congress, Com. Taiwo Akinyemi, his counterpart in the Trade Union Congress, Com. Lawrence Kuloogun and Joint Negotiating Council’s Scribe, Com. Gbenga Olowoyo.

The letter read partly: “It is informative to bring to the notice of your esteemed office that the recent sacking scenario happenings around various sectors is not only worrisome but also called for serious attention because of the image that the developments is attracting to our dear state as well as the government of the day.

It is beyond our comprehension that one Mr. Femi Adeleye Daniel a staff in the Porter Departmental of Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital (EKSUTH) was allegedly given compulsory retirement, vide a letter with reference EKSUTH/A/982 dated 24th December 2019, because of his involvement in the mobilization of workers for workers’ congress meeting held at the Teaching Hospital premises”.

It added that flowing from the above, the organized Labour is seriously concerned with information milling rounds that the current sacking, compulsory and untimely retirement of workers, is a whirlwind that will soon blow across the entire workforce in the state.

The labour said it was sad and worrisome, that the action would be undertaken at the Ekiti School of Health technology, Ijero Ekiti, Ekiti State College of Education, Ikere Ekiti, Ekiti State Local Government Service Commission (NULGE), Broadcasting Service of Ekiti State, Ekiti State Water Corporation , Ekiti State Electricity Board, Ekiti State Housing Corporation, Core Civil Service; Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs), among others.

It is expedient and imperative to remind His Excellency of his commitment that he will not allow anything untowards to affect the workforce in Ekiti State and you promised during your inaugural speech “that you are back as an healing balm on a painful wound”.

The labour stated further: “it is on the strength of the above commitment that the leadership of the organised labour is hereby calling your attention to the above information in respect of Ekiti State University, (EKSU) and Ekiti State University Teaching Hospital, Ado Ekiti (EKSUTH) for your quick intervention to put a stop to these ugly trends so as not to give your administration and Ekiti State a bad name in the comity of States in Nigeria.

NO PLAN TO SACK WORKERS IN CIVIL SERVICE, EKSG SAYS

….describes media report as false, misleading

The attention of the Government of Ekiti State has been drawn to some media reports insinuating that the administration had concluded plans to sack workers in the MDAs.

The misleading news reports, which quoted an anonymous source in the office of the Head of Service, is nothing but a tissue of lies and a figment of the imagination of the writers.

The office of the Head of Service has denied any plan to carry out any disengagement in the listed MDAs as claimed in the malicious reports. The Head of Service, Mr Ayodeji Ajayi, is the state official with authority to speak on issues relating to the service and not the rumour mill.

Contrary to the concocted lies of the writers, the state government wishes to place it on record that it has no plan to sack anyone in the MDAs. Instead, it is about concluding the process of employing about 3, 000 workers in the teaching and civil service in the state.

The recruitment process, which was well advertised, commenced in September 2019 and has reached the final stage as no fewer than 98 percent of the applicants that passed the competitive examinations have gone through interview sessions preparatory to the issuance of their letters of employment as teachers in the public primary and secondary schools as well as placements in different departments of the state service.

The recruitment process is going on side by side with other social security investments programmes for the youths and elderly citizens.

We implore the general public to ignore the misleading reports and be wary of hack writers and discredited purveyors of fake news whose agenda is to cause unnecessary anxiety, quoting unnamed and non- existent sources to deceive the unsuspecting ones.

Regardless of the misleading report, however, letters of employment will soon be issued to successful applicants. This is in continuation of plan by the Dr Kayode Fayemi – led administration to fortify the public service with qualified personnel and create diverse opportunities for others in entrepreneurship.

Mischief makers masquerading as writers are also urged to re- direct their energy to things that promote our core values and tow the path of truth and honour this year or be prepared for the consequence.

Signed
Yinka Oyebode
Chief Press Secretary to the Governor.

Culled: The Nation/SUNSHINETRUTH

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