Against the backdrop of percentage salaries being paid to workers of kogi state local government Councils, the workers under the aegis of Joint Action Union (JAU) are poised to embark on indefinite strike if the government fails to need to their demand of at least 60% salaries.
The Joint Action Union of the Local Government Councils (JAU) is made up of the various Unions working at the Local Government levels which is negotiating with the government on how to at least pay 60% for the month of October, 2020.
The leadership of the Joint Action Union , drawn from NUP, NUT, NULGE, NASU, and MHWUN has In the last couple of days been engaging the State Government to migrate them to 60% salaries for their members, although the yesterday’s meeting ended in deadlock even as another round of meeting is scheduled for today.
A source disclosed to our Correspondent that members under the aegies of Joint Action Union have lost confidence in their Leadership, alleging ploy by the leadership to accept 40% the government is dangling at them saying anything short of 60% would not be acceptable to workers.
Workers under JAU said they have consistently been on percentage payment of salaries ranging from 30%, to 35%, with the Joint Action Union in their yesterday’s meeting calling for a jack up to 60% for October Salary.
The source said aside before the November 2019 Governoship election when the various workers at the LGAs received 50% salaries, ever since then, the salaries for workers either as Pensioners, Teachers, Health Workers, Primary School’s Teachers Local Government Staffers have ranged between 30% to 35%.
The demands by JAU members which has put the Leadership under tight coner, is coming up after many years of sacrifices, with the October Salary likely to be the last to be paid before centrally by Government before it is handed over to likely elected Councils after the December 12 Election.
While majority of JAU members at the Local Government level say they look forward to the return of the salaries account to the various Local Government areas, lamented that it has been challenging making ends meet with percentage payment.
Another theory made up of some JAU members however postulates that returning the salaries to the various Local Government Areas has its implications and challenges as at that level, reaching negotiations by the workers, it would be a harculean tasks. They staff in this category commended the leadership of JAU for still working at returning them to 50% Inspite the loss of confidence by the members.
Another Member of JAU who is a pensioner lamented how the Government will tax Pensioners, lamented that pensioners at the Local Government levels even with the percentage payment are still waiting to be paid October in November.
The State Government Received N3.7b, N3.4b and N2.9b respectively for the month of September, October and November as allocation for the various Local Government areas, have a monthly wage bill of N1.7b if it pays 50% and N1.5b if it pays the 40%, with the members wondering why the untold hardship.
Following the pressure placed on the JAU Leadership by their members, the Leadership may have no choice but to reject the proposed 40% the Government is dangling at them as their members have shown that it would no longer be business as usual.
Furthermore, the anger by the LG workers made up of Teachers, Health Workers, LG Staffers, Pensioners is coming barely some days to the local government Election slated for December 12.2020 as many see the anger and likely protest as not too good coming at a time for Grassroots Election.