By Olawale Jokotoye
Civil servants and teachers in Ogun state will return to work today following the suspension of their two-week strike.
The suspension of the strike was announced in Abeokuta by the state Chairman of the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council (JNC), Abiodun Olakanmi.
Olakanmi, who addressed civil servants in the state at the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) Secretariat on Wednesday, directed them to return to work today.
The development followed a tripartite meeting held on Wednesday in Abeokuta between officials of the state government and representatives of labour at the state and national level.
The meeting, which commenced at 10.am. at the Governor’s Office, ended at 6.pm with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (Mou), a copy of which was given to NAN.
The workers began a strike action on Oct. 20 to protest non-remittance of 12 months deductions from workers’ salaries among other claims.
The meeting agreed that outstanding deductions should be paid on or before May, 2017.
It also agreed that one year arrears of check- off dues should be immediately offset while the government should set aside N200 million every other month for payment of outstanding gratuities effective November.
The meeting agreed that the 2015 promotion result be released immediately while a quarterly meeting between the government and labour should be held to promote industrial harmony.
It agreed that a joint committee of both government and labour should be set up to consider issues concerning the contributory pension scheme and submit a report to the government within 90 days.
Gov. Ibikunle Amosun, who also addressed newsmen after the meeting, apologised to all Nigerians over the industrial action in Ogun.
He said that as a responsible employer of labour, the government realised its responsibility to pay salaries to its employees.
The governor said that the state was second only to Lagos state in terms of regular payment of salaries.
He, however, lamented that the harsh economic realities in the country had constrained the government in fully discharging its responsibilities to its workers.
“We have the best civil service in the whole of Nigeria and no governor dead or alive in Ogun had romanced or massaged the ego of the workers as I have done,” he said.
On the issue of the dismissal of the state chairman of NLC, Akeem Ambali and 15 other members of the union, Amosun said “it is not connected with the issue of the strike.’’
“The government did not sack the affected workers because of strike but because they mixed work with politics.
“We shall , however, see what is possible,” he said.
The governor gave an assurance that the government would implement all the agreements reached at the meeting.