The Ondo State chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has threatened showdown by its members if the state government adopt selective salary payment.
According to a statement released by the Union executives, any attempt by Ondo State government to covertly or overtly prioritize the payment of 100% salary to medical officers only will evoke a total breakdown and lockdown of government machinery without notice.
The statement read: “The age long adage that; “Agba kii wa l’oja k’ori omo tuntun wo” (Elders do not sit and watch situation go awry), best described the noble disposition and concerns demonstrated by our Royal fathers and Religious Leaders as led by His Majesty, Oba (Dr.) Victor Kiladejo, the Osemawe of Ondo Kingdom at a meeting called at their instance to broker truce on the withdrawal of service from Public Health Facilities by the Doctors and the way forward.
“NLC Ondo State is proud that, in the state, we have leaders who are not only interested in matters of their immediate domains but, also bothered about the sustenance of industrial peace and harmony as harbinger of growth and development in any society.
“We did note with rapt attention and true spirit of appreciation, the pleas and submissions of our respected elders. NLC as a body however, superintend over fifteen (15) Unions in the Public Service of the state and with over thirty thousand membership across all the services whose interest we have sworn to protect and defend therefore, we humbly restates as a responsible Congress as follows:
The union however said, “We are not averse to the payment of 100% salary to Medical Officers as long as it will also cut across every civil servant in the state”.
It noted that, “We REJECT in its entirety the idea of preferring Medical Officers only for 100% salary payment and leaving out other Medical and Health workers who are in the same sector including the Security, Drivers, Sanitary Labour and Gardeners.
“We hold that, Doctors provide essential services that has to do with life. Nonetheless, it is not enough to super-impose and or hyper-rate them as super or extra ordinary civil servants.
“We wish to remind all that, we are first of all, employees of Ondo State Government irrespective of Cadre and Government as a father must not care more for some at the expense of others. The same service rules and conditions of service applies to all.
“NLC strongly submit that, for whatever year spent in the university by the Medical Officers, civil service has compensated and still caters for it. i.e, their entry point into the civil service is Salary Grade Level 12 which is a far cry from their colleague Graduates whose entry point remains GL 08 except for Lawyers.
The union added that, “It is important to also point out (though not out of envy) that, their remuneration is higher and better than any one else in the service which ordinarily should have made them reason with government, their claim of essential service notwithstanding.
“The position of NLC Ondo State on the new regime of salary payment has remained that of understanding with the post COVID-19 effect on the global economy and we restate again the over-borrowing tendencies even to pay salaries of the Akeredolu led government.
“Medical Officers as represented in NAGGMDP, NMA, NARD etc attends the State salary meetings on a regular monthly basis where government receipts from FAAC and others are given to Organised Labour and Doctors. We therefore, challenge them again to come out with evidence(s) of money anywhere that can sustain the payment of 100% salary to civil servants in the State.
It added that, “As a congress, we support any positive effort that government may want to take (which will not cost anyone his/her job) to solve the challenge of salary payment as being faced”.