With over N7 billion monthly wage bill to 48,000 workers in Delta, the State Chairman of Trade Union Congress (TUC), Comrade Martin Bolum, has said that the decision of the state government to review the salary of political appointees and workers on salary grade level seven was one of the ways to keep the state afloat in this period of Coronavirus pandemic.
The salary cut takes effect from July 2020 is for six months.
According to him, the state was one of the first states to implement the new minimum wage, stressing that the present salary review was for a while.
At a press conference by the secretary to the state government Barr. Chiedu Ebie to explain the interim fiscal measures adopted by the government, the Head of Service, Mr Reginald Bayoko also appealed to workers to see the development as a sacrifice by accepting the decision in good faith.
Earlier, Barr. Ebie said the downward review of the 2020 state budget by N113 billion was as a result of the dwindling revenue caused by COVID-19 adding that the decision to review workers salary was reached at a consultative meeting with the organised Labour in the state.
While saying that the review was painful, difficult and inevitable, the SSG said it is a sacrifice that was needed to keep the state moving.
According to him, the review was not a repudiation of the new minimum wage in the state but a temporary measure that would be lifted as soon as the economy improves.
In their separate remarks, the Commissioner for Finance, Sir Fidelis Tilije and his counterpart in Information, Mr Charles Aniagwu said the monthly savings of the state government cannot offset its wage bill of N7 billion.
The duo of Tilije and Aniagwu noted that the drop in oil production from 2.3 million barrels per day to 1.4 million and a general decline in revenue had negatively affected the state economically, even as they sued for the cooperation of all in handling the situation.