The organised labour movement in Bayelsa State has suspended its three-day old strike over unpaid salaries and pension arrears.
A statement by Daniel Iworiso-Markson, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seriake Dickson, said the decision to shelve the industrial action was reached after a marathon meeting held on Monday which had in attendance government representatives and the leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC).
The suspension of the strike was announced via a communique issued in Yenagoa and jointly signed by Peter Singabele (Head of Service); Jonathan Obuebite (Commissioner of Information and Orientation); John Bipre Ndiomu, (NLC Chairman) and Tari Dounana, (TUC Chairman).
Labour, according to the document, accepted government’s offer to pay 50 per cent of monthly salaries with effect from February 2016.
The government is however, expected to effect full payment of workers’ salaries as soon as the allocation from the federation account accruing to the state improves, officials said.
The 50 per cent of salaries payable to workers, according to labour, was not a downward review of workers’ salaries.
The communique reads:
* That in line with the ongoing payment of January 2016 salaries to workers, government should facilitate the process of payment of salaries to the outstanding MDAs and Parastatals, including pensioners without further delays.
*That a monthly meeting should be scheduled between labour and Government, in order to have a joint review of the economic recovery of the state.
*In view of the state government’s policy on the payment of primary school teachers, labour should commence the process of negotiating with the Government on the way forward.
* That the Bayelsa State government should negotiate with banks to suspend deductions arising from loans until the economy of the state improves or otherwise direct payment should be made to workers.
* No disciplinary action shall be taken against any public servant arising from his or her role(s) either by omission or commission geared towards the prosecution of the suspended industrial action by organized labour.
* That labour suspends the strike action in the light of strong appeals and interventions from the state government and other well meaning Bayelsans and in accordance with the tenets of Trade Union Negotiations, as well as to pave the way for further negotiations between the state government and organized labour.
* That organized labour reserves the right to resume strike without prior notice to the State Government, if it fails or renege in any of the terms of this agreement.
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