NUJ kicks as Bayelsa sacks of 222 media workers

Posted by News Express | 12 April 2018 | 1,604 times

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Bayelsa government has commenced its plans to downsize its workforce with the sack of some 222 staff from its radio station and newspaper while compilation of sack list is in progress.

The Bayelsa Council of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) on Wednesday condemned the sack of 222 media workers in the Bayelsa government owned media platforms.

The list showed that 86 staff of New Waves Newspaper and 136 workers from the Radio Bayelsa were affected from the list so far released while staff of the state television station remain apprehensive.

A statement from the NUJ urged the state government to review its decision to sack over 200 media workers in one fell swoop in the guise of redeployment while the axe dangles on others.

This is sequel to a circular from the office of the Head of Service to heads of media parastatal to redeploy excess staff.

The statement signed by the Bayelsa NUJ Chairman, Mr. John Angese, and Secretary, Mr. Stanley Imgbi, noted that the unions and labour leaders in the state and affected establishment were not privy to the exercise.

NUJ argued that the parameter for determining the desired staff strength was not specified and shrouded in secrecy adding that the best hands have been affected in the exercise that jettisoned competence.

According to the statement, the output of the media houses would nose dive as professionalism and competence were not factored in while compiling the list.

The union maintained that the directive to stop salaries of the affected workers from the April 2018 voucher was in breach of civil service rule and breached the labour laws.

It said that seizure of the salaries of the affected staff and holding it in unpaid salary account in the state treasury clearly shows that the exercise is not redeployment as presented by government.

The union leaders urged government to review the decision due to the economic implication on the affected workers as most of who are bread winners of their family and the overall implication on the society.

The statement further urged members to remain calm while an emergency congress will be called to review the strategy of the union on the matter.

The Baylesa government said the ongoing public service reform in the state was to eliminate endemic employment racketeering and pay roll fraud in its public sector.

Deputy Governor, Rear Admiral John Jonah (Rtd) assured the workers that they would not be thrown into the labour market adding that the exercise would only affect those involved in employment fraud, redundancy and truancy.

It will be recalled that Bayelsa government had on November 7, 2017 announced that it withheld the October 2017 salary of some 4,202 civil servants suspected to be involved in irregularities.

Source: News Express

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