Civil servants in Ekiti State have said they enjoyed better welfare package and standard of living under former Governor Kayode Fayemi than incumbent Governor Ayo Fayose.
The workers, under the aegis of the Enlightened Workers Forum (EWF), also slammed labour leaders whom they accused of being in “unholy alliance” with Fayose which has denied them of their rights and left them poorer.
The EWF Coordinator, Mike Bamidele, who spoke on Wednesday while featuring on a Yoruba current affairs programme, ISEJOBA RERE, on Radio Nigeria Progress 100.5 FM said workers enjoyed salary increment four times during the four-year administration of Fayemi.
Bamidele lamented that Fayemi approved Consolidated Medical Salary Scale (CONMESS) and Consolidated Health Workers Salary Scale (CONHESS), relativity salary increase from N9,250 to N13,00 across the board and Federal Government approved National Minimum Wage in which the least paid worker in Ekiti gets N19,300.
The workers’ leader also credited Fayemi with increment of pension of Permanent Secretaries who had retired since 1999 before the advent of minimum wage and relativity to N200,000 in line with contemporary economic realities.
According to him, it was an irony that the same workers in the employ of the state government are being owed salary arrears of between six and nine months with the organized labour unable to fight for their welfare.
Bamidele expressed dismay that the state government has failed to defray arrears owed workers despite the various financial lifelines received from the Federal Government including bailout funds, Paris Club refunds and Budget Support Funds.
He said: “Many families now eat once in a day owing to non-payment of our salaries; in fact, a Level 12 officer committed suicide because of frustration arising from non-payment of salaries and this has not happened in the history of our state.
“It is a pity that the labour movement is dead in Ekiti; although Labour and government should be partners in progress, they should work together. Labour should be the watchdog to government and offer checks and balances.
“But the labour movement in Ekiti has become a government parastatal and that is why we have formed this pressure group, Enlightened Workers Forum to put issues in proper perspective.
“In a situation where labour leaders are now working for government and defend government’s failure to effectively perform its statutory responsibilities is unacceptable to us.”
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