By Abiodun Lawal
Members of the Ogun chapter of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) shut the gates of the House of Assembly on Thursday to demand implementation of Consolidated Legislative Salary Structure (CONLESS).
Speaking with newsmen at Abeokuta, Mr Ayotunde Ojediran, the chapter chairman noted that it was important for the staff to register their displeasure with the state government.
Ojediran said the shutting of the gates was to signal the beginning of a three-day warning strike over the failure of the state government to consider the association’s demands.
He noted that the implementation of CONLESS would put staff of the assembly on the same pedestal as staff of the Judiciary who had been enjoying Consolidated Judicial Salary Structure (CONJESS).
The implementation, he added, would also benefit staff of the House of Assembly Service Commission.
Ojediran said government was also yet to comply with the provision of the State Assembly Service Commission Law, 2018 regarding the emoluments of principal officers.
He noted that the non-compliance had resulted into the non-payment of due salaries and allowances to the three most senior officers in the assembly since their respective dates of appointment.
“The union had earlier written to the state government stating all the demands and we issued a 21-day ultimatum to meet the demands but nothing was done till the ultimatum lapsed.
“We are presently in negotiation with the state government but as we speak we 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 enjoying what is due to them.
“We are optimistic that before the expiration of the three-day warning strike, government will do the needful. I know we have a listening governor who is father to all.
“If there is no positive response from the state government, we will call for an indefinite strike immediately,’’ he said.
Efforts to get the reaction of the management of the assembly proved abortive.
In a letter dated May 9, the national body of PASAN gave Gov. Dapo Abiodun until the end of May to address issues raised by its members in the Ogun State House of Assembly.
The letter was signed by its National Secretary-General, Mr Awobifa Hammed.
It demanded full compliance with the provisions of the Ogun State House of Assembly Service Commission Law, 2018 and Statutory Office (State Emolument) Amendment 2018.
It noted that the governor ignored three earlier correspondences from its Ogun chapter on the issues “despite the legislative workers’ plea’’.
It urged the governor to address its demands before May 31 or risk an industrial crisis in the state.