Workers of the Ogun State House of Assembly under the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) have begun an indefinite strike over their salaries. The industrial action comes after the state government failed to implement the Consolidated Legislative Salary Structure (CONLESS), which was passed by the National Assembly. The union had also asked the state government to comply with the provisions of sections 10(2), 13, and 14 of the State Assembly Service Commission Law 2018, and the Statutory Offices (State Emoluments) Amendment Law 2018 as it affects due salary and allowances to some of their members since their respective dates of appointment.
About a week ago, members of the Ogun State chapter of PASAN protested the failure of the state government to immediately commence the implementation of their much-agitated CONLESS. The members locked the assembly’s gate against the state lawmakers and other government functionaries. They also declared a three-day warning strike over the failure of the state government to consider their demands. PASAN’s state chairman, Ayotunde Ojediran, spoke to newsmen at the entrance gate of the assembly in Abeokuta.
Government non-compliance resulted in non-payment of salary.
He said that their action was targeted at registering their displeasure against the state government’s refusal to listen to their demands. He said that the Governor Dapo Abiodun led administration was yet to comply with the provision of the State Assembly Service Commission Law, 2018- specifically Sections 10(2), 13 and 14, and the Statutory Offices (State Emoluments) Amendment Law, 2018. Because of this, it had resulted in the non-payment of salaries and allowances to the three most senior officers in the assembly since their respective dates of appointment.
According to Ojediran, the implementation of CONLESS to staff members in the state assembly and House of Assembly Service Commission would place the workers on the same pedestal with the state judiciary who had been enjoying Consolidated Judicial Salary Structure (CONJESS). He said that the union had written a letter to Ogun State Government stating all the demands. In the letter, the union issued a 21-day ultimatum to meet the demands but they did nothing till the ultimatum lasted.
No meaningful agreement was reached via negotiations.
At the time, the chairman said that the union was in negotiation with the state government, but both are yet to reach any meaningful agreement. “If all these issues are not addressed, it will not be too good for the system. This is an institution but unfortunately people are not receiving what is due to them,” he said. The chairman said that they were optimistic that the government would do the needful before the expiration of the three-day warning strike.
With the expiration of the ultimatum last Thursday, the workers shut down the assembly complex but still got no response from the government. Backing the action of its state chapter, the national body of PASAN, in a letter dated May 9 and signed by its Secretary-General, Awobifa Hammed, demanded full compliance with the provisions of the stated laws. The union announced the decision to begin the strike through a communiqué made available to journalists after its state congress and signed by its chairman and secretary, Ayotunde Ojediran and David Adediran, respectively.
PASAN released a communique dated May 31, 2023.
After an emergency congress of PASAN was held on May 31, 2023, to consider the persistent issues concerning the state of welfare of the members of the union and the sustenance of quality service delivery by members of staff, they identified unresolved issues. The conclusion of the meeting resulted in a statement signed by the state chairman and released that same day. It read, “The failure of the State Government to adequately address the two demands of our members by close of work on May 31, 2023 will result in the union embarking on a total, comprehensive, and indefinite strike action, commencing from the early hours of June 1, 2023.”