Workers In Bayelsa Do Not Want To ‘Go Home And Rest’
It is a thing of joy for a worker to retire happily and get the benefits.
But this rest may come to some workers in Bayelsa State quite early and unprofitably.
The Public Service has been described as the pillar of any government and it is the same in Bayelsa State.
However, at least 26,000 civil servants fear mass retrenchment without benefits in the south-south state.
It is an oil producing state and Governor Seriake Dickson had in 2012 began the sanitation of Bayelsa Public Service to cut the cost of governance.
While some of the workers may be asked to go home and rest, others have been moved away from their current place of work to other sectors.
This last shakeup took place on April 16, 2018 with the publication of lists that contained names of the affected workers.
The most affected are Local Government staff.
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Governor Dickson listed some of the lingering issues that necessitated the reform to include; forged certificate, recycling of newly sworn age affidavits, underage/overage workers, redundancy and unqualified self acclaimed professionals.
Others are: inheriting of dead relative's spots and negative mindset of Bayelsans towards hard work.
The government says it wants to put an end to all these anomalies.
According to the Governor, "those who do not go to work, those whose services are no longer needed, those who are too old will be told to go and rest.
“Majority of the affected workers will be relocated to area of need.
“There are no Agric Extension officers, Surveyors, Dentists, Chemists, Engineers from various fields because they are all working outside their areas of specialisations.
“This reform will create opportunity for employment. There will surely be casualties,” he said while announcing the reform.
This announcement has created uncertainty in the sector, but no teacher or lecturer was affected by the reform.
According to the Governor, more teachers will be employed to meet up with demand.
Can Ugly Face Can Be Mistaking For Old Age?
In Nigeria, the labour union will not always sit and watch mass retrenchment of workers.
As expected the unions in the state are reacting to the reform.
The Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade John Ndiomu, said: “We have told our members not to be afraid.
“The issues have been taken care of and l think the government have listened to us, we just have to wait".
During the reform, some workers were allegedly laid off on facial screening, with many of them considered old just because they had wrinkled faces.
Comrade Ndiomu further called on the government to review the sack of some workers on facial screening.
"When a man has an ugly face, it can be mistaken for old age", he added.
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The Chairman of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Comrade Kalama Tounpre, supported the reform and the idea of posting some workers to schools.
"Let them come and join us.
“The reform is to correct the ratio of qualified as opposed to non-qualified staff to enable the State government run its affairs effectively.
“No be bad belle, no be witch hunt.
“The reform is to ensure effective delivery. No more payroll fraud laden with absenteeism," he stressed.