Ahead of 2020 governorship election in Ondo state, politicians have been asked not to play politics with the ongoing screening of the local government workers, pensioners and primary school teachers in the state.
The President of the Nigeria Union local government Employees (NULGE), Mr Bola Taiwo, stated this on Wednesday in Akure, Ondo state capital, while condemning the alarm raised by some politicians over the ongoing screening exercise.
Taiwo who noted that the screening exercise was in the best interest of the workers and pensioners, assured workers in the state that the exercise would not be used by the present administration in the state to retrench any worker.
He explained that the screening was organised to know when the workers joined service and when they would retire so that government would plan for them.
On the logjam over the implementation of the 30,000 minimum wage, the NULGE President expressed reservation over the failure of both government and the organised labour to agree on a new salary table before signing into law of the new wage.
The NULGE boss said, “politicians should not use workers’ welfare to play politics against Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu; the screening for primary school teachers, local government workers and their pensioners is not to witch hunt anybody.
” The screening exercise was organised to know the numerical strength of local government workers and primary school teachers to enable government plans for the workers.
“There is no indication that government wants to use the screening exercise to downside or retrench workers, there is nothing like that and if you monitored the screening (two weeks ago), it has a human face.
“The government never asked for certificate or primary six certificates, it is just your physical appearance and your letters of appointment and letter of last promotion, just to know when you joined service and when you will retire, and how to plan for them, nothing like retrenchment plan.
“Unlike previous or past screenings under the last administration in the state when a lot of people lost their lives, travelling around to get primary six certificates, this current screening under this administration is not like that.”
He said further, “during the screening we have discovered a lot of revelations, where workers travelled out of the country (without official approval) and still collecting salaries, by the time the screening report is out, we will see the revelations.
“We have had reactions from politicians about the screening, we want to advise politicians in the state that if they want to fight for positions in the state, they should not use workers’ welfare to settle scores.
He noted that “either primary school teachers or local government workers or even pensioners should not be used to play politics. We don’t want workers to be used to negotiate for appointment.”
Speaking about the new minimum wage, he said “at the initial stage, there is a mistake, I don’t expect our labour leaders to agree on a new minimum wage without a table, in the past years, there will be a (salary) table before going on negotiations, it is the table that should be used to reach figure, that is why we find ourselves at this stage.
“We want to advise that the allocation formulae of sharing money from the federation account should be reviewed to enable state governments and local governments to get more allocations to implement the new minimum wage.”