Bamigbola Gbolagunte, Akure
Ondo State Government has signed an agreement with the organised labour on the payment of the N30,000 new minimum wage from January 2020.
The signing of the agreement, Daily Sun gathered was the result of almost three months negotiations between the state government and organised labour.
Head of Service (HoS), Dare Aragbaiye, who signed for the government, stressed the state government’s commitment to the prompt payment of the N30,000 minimum wage.
Aragbaiye also commended the labour leaders for their understanding and maturity throughout the period of the negotiation.
He said government placed the interest and welfare of the workers uppermost in its mind, hence the fast negotiation and signing of the agreement.
“We met two or three times a week, till late last year. Apart from the upward review, the issue of consequential adjustment for levels 7 to 17 also became an issue, even at the federal level,” he said.
The HoS said the agreement with the labour leaders was on full payment of the new minimum wage from level six downward, while workers on level seven and above would have consequential adjustment of their wages.
Aragbaye also said the government has approved 33 percent for pensioners who retired before 2014 and peculiar allowances for some workers.
According to him, even if we agree to pay something higher than everyone else, the need for sustainability of the new wage is also important, hence the consensus to avoid going back to irregular payment of salaries.
Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) Chairman, Oyesanmi Ilesanmi, in his response, thanked the state government for the regular payment of salaries and allowances since 2017.
He said although the labour leaders would wish for the best, they had to also consider the sustainability of the new wages for consequential adjustment for levels 7 to 17.
Also, Nigeria Labor Congress (NLC) Chairman, Sunday Adeleye, said issues like inflow and outflow were considered by both parties to arrive at the new wages.
Adeleye said the parties involved agreed that whatever was paid by the state government would be regular and sustainable.
He further appealed for the commencement of payment of 2018 leave bonus.
Also, Chairman of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), Helen Odofin lauded government’s commitment to workers’ welfare.
She said the openness and sense of integrity with which the government team approached the negotiations helped in the quick resolution of the minimum wage negotiations in the state.