Owing to uproar and complaints that greeted the salary cut and wage review of staffers of Public Service in Akwa Ibom, the state Government has backed down with a pledge to refund outstanding deductions in the month of June 2020 to the beneficiaries.
The government, in a circular No. GHU/AKS/S/175/VOL.38 of June 25, 2020 had undertaken to review the Consolidated Akwa Ibom State Enhanced Public Service Salary (CONAKESS) table which was adopted by the New National Minimum Wage Agreement of January 01, 2020.
Straightnews learned that the circular signed by Ephraim Inyang-eyen, the Chief of Staff to Governor Udom Emmanuel, deducted salaries of different categories of public servants and sliced down domestic staffers of Officers on Grade Level 15 and above including Permanent Secretaries whose salaries were already cut by 20 per cent.
This was as the state government had deducted salaries of the public servants in March 2020 on the pretext of funding COVID-19, though the government after mounting pressure had refunded the deductions to the workers.
However, a letter dated June 6 and signed by Comrade Sunny James, the state Chairperson of Nigeria Labour Congress and Comrade Dominic Abang, the state Chairman of Trade Union Congress said: “the Organised Labour held a meeting with the Chief of Staff to the Governor on Thursday, July 3, 2020 and agreed on withdrawal within two weeks, of the obnoxious wage review circular, a reversal to the status quo ante, and the refund of all shortfalls to civil servants salaries occasioned by the circular.”
In their letter entitled: Update on salary cut/wage review in the state public service, the labour leaders said: “This communication is to inform you and members that at a meeting on Thursday, July 3, 2020, between Organised Labour and the Government (represented by the Chief of Staff to the Governor and the Head of Civil Service), the government has adopted to withdraw its earlier circular on this.”
“The Organised Labour appreciates His Excellency for towing the path of truth and justice on the matter and also call on him to give similar attention to other pending issues before His Excellency’s table especially the quick resolution of the numerous concerns of Akwa Ibom State health workers,” they added.
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