Akeredolu approves payment of outstanding allowances to Ondo workers
Ondo State government, on Monday, approved the payment of outstanding allowances, deductions, leave bonus and pensions to workers in the state.
The State Commissioner for Information and Orientation, Mr Donald Ojogo, who disclosed this during a press conference, said the allowances would be paid from the July allocation from the federation account.
According to him, all the five months deductions of the workers, leave bonus, COVID-19 allowance for health workers among others would be offset with the July allocation.
Ojogo disclosed that the state governor met with the labour unions to iron out the issue of outstanding allowances and worker’s welfare where both parties agreed on favourable resolutions.
He said parts of the resolution was that the July allocation from the federation account should be used to offset the five months deductions of the workers, leave bonus, COVID-19 allowance for health workers among others.
He said: “In line with the spirit of Mr Governor who had insisted and still insisting that the welfare of workers will be given premium attention, he has approved the following which has also been accepted by the leadership of the labour unions; that the deductions for the state from February to June 2020 should be paid in full.
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“That the 68 per cent June salary and pensions of the local government service should also be paid; that 2018 leave bonus for workers on grade levels 7-17 in all services should also be paid, that the special COVID-19 hazard and risk allowance from May 2020 be paid to medical and health workers without further delay, that 2019 leave bonus for workers from grade levels 1-6 in all services should also be paid.
“These decisions were equally agreed upon by the leadership of the labour union and we know too well that this government has enjoyed a very robust relationship with the labour.”
The Information Commissioner, however, said the steps taken by the state government should not be misconstrued for political gains, especially when the governorship election is around the corner.
He maintained that Governor Akeredolu will continue to give priority to the welfare of the workers in the state, and said “some might want to say that it is because elections are approaching that this government is taking steps. It is not true, that should be far from it.
“After all, elections were not around the corners when Mr Governor decided to commence the payment of salary arrears of the workers. Out of the seven months arrears, we have only one month remaining which will be attended to in due course.”
Commending the state government over the development, the Labour Union leaders in the state expressed satisfaction over the steps taken by the state governor.
Briefing members in an enlarged meeting, the Chairman Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) in the state, Mr Oluwaniyi Fabunmi, said “We met with government, the governor himself presided over the meeting where we agreed that for now when the July allocation comes from the federation account coupled with what is generated from the state not minding the fact that during this COVID there is low IGR.
“We agreed that the July allocation should be used for the payment of five months deductions, from February to June, leave bonus for 2018 as well as 2019 leave bonus to a certain level. In addition, COVID allowances will be paid to health workers both at the local and state level.”
It would be recalled that civil servants in the state through the JNC had on July 10, 2020, issued a five-day ultimatum to the state government over the outstanding deductions, leave bonus among other allowances be paid or risk industrial action.