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Labour to picket C’River HoS office over illegal deductions

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By Joseph Kingston, Calabar

The Organized Labour in Cross River State under the auspices of the Public Service Negotiating Council has vowed to protest against the Office of the State Head of Service, HoS, over an alleged deduction of N25,000 from salaries of permanent secretaries.

In a letter made available to journalists in Calabar, the state capital on Wednesday and signed by the Joint Council Chairman, Godwin Otei, and Secretary, Clarkson Otu, the labour leaders gave the Head of Service up to Friday, August 27, 2021 to refund all monies so far deducted or face their action.

The letter, titled ‘Re: Payment of N25,000 for Permanent Secretaries Competitive Examination. Notice of Picket’, read in part: “We wish to refer to our letter to you dated 13th August, 2021 and our meeting with you on Tuesday 24 August, 2021 in respect of the above stated subject matter.

“Recall that the Joint Council (Union Side) in both instances had requested that you stop further collection of the money from directors and refund all sums already collected to the owners.

“The Joint Negotiating Council (Union Side) at its meeting of 24th August, 2021 resolved that a final appeal be made to you to refund all the monies so far collected to their owners between Wednesday 25th August, 2021 to Friday 27th August, 2021.

“Please take notice that failure to refund the monies within the period specified above will result in a picket of your office on Monday 30th August, 2021 until all the sums unlawfully collected by you is refunded.

“This notice of picket is copied to all authorities concerned for their information. Please be guided Comradely.”

Unfortunately, efforts to reach the Head of Service, Mrs. Geraldine Akpet-Ekanem, for her response on the allegation proved fruitless as she neither answered calls made to her phone number nor responded to text message sent to her in this regard.

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