Workers shut down federal secretariat over Sallah bonus

The Joint Union Association of Head of Service of the Federation on Wednesday embarked on a peaceful protest over poor welfare, lack of training and working materials as well as slash in Sallah bonus at the Federal Secretariat, Abuja.

The joint union was made up of the Nigeria Civil Service Union, Association of Senior Civil Service Union and the Secretaries Union at the Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation.

A member of the union, who pleaded anonymity, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that they were usually paid N25,000 as bonus every Sallah, Easter or Christmas celebrations but they have not received anything since the last Sallah (Eid-el-Fitr).

According to him, while they were expecting to be paid N50, 000 this forthcoming Sallah (Eid-el-Kabir) because of the outstanding bonus, rather it has been slashed to N15,000.

He added that in the last seven years, none of their staff had been trained, stating that training was critical to the civil service.

Another protester complained that out of the 16 lifts in the federal secretariat, only one was working, while promotion arrears have not been paid.

She added that there was no staff bus to convey staff to work, functional computers were retrieved and auctioned but had not been replaced.

According to her, “They have been promising but nothing, we buy working materials with our money to ensure the job is done, there are no materials in the store.

“We use our money to photocopy documents at business centres and the toilets are appalling, they need maintenance.”

Mr Ikediashi Uzoh, President of the Joint Union, said the protest was not pre-planned as it broke out after a meeting with the management Wednesday morning.

“The management after a second meeting has agreed to meet the request of the staff immediately, hopefully by the end of this week,” he said.

Mr Afolayan Olaniyi, Permanent Secretary, Common Services Office (CSO), Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation (OHCSF), who addressed the protesting staff, said that management had agreed to the terms of the union.

Olaniyi said that they contacted the Head of Service of the Federation, Mrs Winifred Oyo-Ita, who was at the Federal Executive Council meeting and she agreed to their demands.

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