Staff Audit: Ekiti Labour Warns Assembly against Unlawful Sack, Victimisation

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By Victor Ogunje

The organised labour in Ekiti State has tackled the state House of Assembly over what it termed as alleged secret attempt to sack some workers under the guise of staff audit.

The organised labour in a letter jointly signed by the Secretaries of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Taiwo Akinyemi; Trade Union Congress (TUC), Lawrence Kuloogun, and Joint Negotiating Council, Gbenga Olowoyo, said the unions would resist any attempt to sack some workers under the facade of staff audit.

In a letter dated January 11, 2021, and addressed to the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon Funminiyi Afuye, the labour warned that sacking any worker at this point would strain the smooth and robust relationship between the labour and the administration of Fayemi.

The letter entitled: ‘Staff Audit in Ekiti State House of Assembly Service Commission: Need for Caution’, expressed disgust over the alleged audit, which it described as not being in tandem with the spirit of trust between the labour and the government.

According to the organised labour, “It is very essential to inform you that the attention of the state leadership of the organised labour has been drawn to the activities of the House of Assembly Service Commission through a letter dated January, 9, 2021, by the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PSSAN) in respect of the staff audit report which is now before the House of Assembly Service Commission.

“As a matter of necessity, the leadership of the organised labour fumed over any action under the guise of staff audit to disrupt the industrial peace in the civil service of the state.

“There is no doubting the fact that the purported affected staff members have been on the state integrated payroll solution system (i.e. biometrics) captured since 2011.

“The sincere concern of the state leadership of the organised labour in is that all actions that may be tantamount to sacking of any worker (s) in any of the arms of government or ministry, department and agency (MDAs) will be vigorously resisted.”

The labour asserted that following the above, it would not tolerate any act of victimisation against any worker as responsible leaders, urging the Assembly to imbibe the spirit of negotiation.

“We hereby admonish the House of Assembly Service Commission leadership and most expediently, the Speaker of the Assembly to halt any action that may lead to the sack of any worker. This is not the best time for such inhuman action,” the labour leaders said.

Earlier, a letter dated January 9, 2021, and signed by the Chairman, Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria, Ekiti State chapter, Gbenga Oluwajuyigbe, and addressed to the NLC Chairman, Kolapo Olatunde, alerted the Congress about the attempt to allegedly sack some workers of the Assembly.

Olajuyigbe called for the intervention of the labour unions to avert the new year calamity which was about to befall some of his colleagues.

But the Chairman of the Ekiti State House of Assembly Service Commission, Hon Taiwo Olatunbosun, contradicted the position canvassed by the labour leaders, saying there wasn’t any attempt to sack any worker.

The former deputy speaker said: “For the purpose of clarity, we are not sacking anybody. Staff audit is a periodic policy allowed by law to update our staff strength and ascertain our nominal roll.

“I don’t understand what the labour leaders were insinuating that the audit was intended to sack workers. I want to say that this allegation was wrong. We never had the intention of sacking anyone under any guise.”