Civil servants in Kano State have expressed anger after the state government slashed their May salaries in what appeared to be an effect of the COVID-19 crisis, and issued a 14-day ultimatum to the state government to pay back the deductions.
Workers had expressed shock over the deduction from their salaries without prior notice.
Abba Anwar, chief press secretary to Abdullahi Ganduje, the governor, had earlier informed political office holders that they would receive half salaries from May due to shortfall in monthly subventions from the federation account and collapse in the state’s internally generated revenue (IGR) as a result of economic challenges occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic.
But the workers only discovered the deductions after receiving their salaries.
In a communique issued at the end of a meeting with stakeholders on Wednesday, Ado Minjibir, chairman of the Kano chapter of National Labour Congress (NLC), said the deduction of workers’ salaries without their consent is illegal.
Minjibir said the action of the government was in clear violation of an agreement labour had with Ganduje’s administration in 2019.
“The meeting in session demanded the refund of relativity allowances to all entitled and affected members in the state for the month of May 2020 and stop further deduction to respect the agreement reached in May 2018,” he said.
“The meeting in session demands for full implementation of the signed agreement between the government and Labour side (JNC) reached in December 2019 on consequential adjustment arising from the implementation of N30,000 minimum wage to all local government, primary school teachers, primary health care workers across the 44 local government areas, tertiary institutions and Ministry of Justice workers in the state.
“The meeting in session frowned at the dismay and demand for immediate payment of April-November 2019 arrears to all category of civil servants in the state as per the agreement reached between government and labour side (JNC) in December 2019 on consequential adjustment.”
Minjibir said if the state government fails to honour the aforementioned demands, they “will take the next line of action.”
He, therefore, warned the government to respect all the agreements reached refund the money deducted from the salaries of workers.