James Ojo, Abuja
The National Leadership of the Trade Union Side (TUS), of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JPSNC), announced yesterday that negotiations on relativity/consequential adjustment of salaries of Public Service employees arising from the new National Minimum Wage of N30,000.00 per month has broken down Consequently, Nigeria’s Labour movement has said it was already mobilising for a total shut down of economic and social activities nationwide.
A communique of the TUS issued after a long meeting attended by the 36 states Chairmen and Secretaries, including the FCT, believed to have reviewed the journey to the signing of the new minimum wage law by President Mohammadu Buhari on April 18, 2019, frowned that it took nearly two years before government and Labour settled for N30,000 as minimum wage for the least paid workers in the country. Labour also expressed disappointment that the Federal Government ignored its call for a meeting to conclude negotiations of theTechnical Committee.
The communique read in part: “Following the signing of the new National Minimum Wage into Law, the Federal Government on Tuesday May 14, 2019 inaugurated the relativity/Consequential Adjustment Committee which in turn set up a Technical Sub-Committee to work out the template for the adjustment of salaries of Public Service Employees in line with the new minimum wage in order to ensure that all workers benefit from the new salary regime;
“When the Technical Committee started to meet, the Trade Union Side (TUS) proposed an upward salary adjustment of 66.6 per cent across board in order to maintain existing relativity in the emoluments of Public Servants, bearing in mind that the actual increase in minimum wage is 66.6 per cent.
“The Government side argued that if 66.66 per cent was added across board to the salaries of Public Servants, the wage bill will be too high for Government to bear;
“Consequently, the Trade Union Side of the JNPSNC reviewed its demand downward because the government promised to undertake a general salary review in no distant future.
“Labour then maintained that 30 per cent increase should be effected in the salaries of officers on grade levels 07-14 and 25 percent per cent to salary of officers on grade level 15-17. Labour feels strongly that its demand is very much reductive bearing in mind sew salary adjustment approved for some agencies of government whereby salary GL 01 step 1 officer will be going home with about N 150,000.00/month. On its part, the Government Side insisted that 9.5 per cent salary adjustment for officers on grade levels 07-14 and 5% for those on grade levels 15-17 was the ideal.