Uche Usim, Abuja
Aviation workers threatening to embark on strike have been advised to bury the thought as there is no justification for it.
The Director-General of the Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET), Professor Sani Mashi stated this on Friday while reacting to plans by the Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals and the National Union of Air Transport Employees to go on strike.
According to him, most of the claimed sundry issues necessitating the need for an industrial action have been either addressed or currently being attended to.
The NIMET boss thus urged the workers to sheath their swords as the planned strike would rather distract the agency’s attention in pursuing the noble goals.
Mashi noted that the resolutions reached in March 2019 by the Ministerial Committee on the Harmonization of Salaries of Staff in Aviation Agencies which the unions were well represented, extensively discussed and resolved salary adjustment for NIMET staff.
He added that the Ministry of Aviation has since presented it for further action to the National Salaries, Wages and Income Commission.
Mashi also revealed that the Ministry was exclusively charged with the task of handling the matter with commission.
“On the issue of the payment of promotion arrears, the Unions should know that it is the Office of the Account-General of the Federation and not the Agency that is responsible for the payment of this arrears and that the management of the agency has been consistently pursuing the matter with the Account-General’s Office through contacts with the relevant Departments”, he said.
On the issue of palliative, Mashi said the “Agency’s Department of Accounts & Finance have computed and paid monetary compensation to all Staff on essential duty. As at last week, only one week palliative was in arrears and this has been settled this week
“Implementation of minimum wage it’s a known fact that the Agency does not pay its Staff salary. The Federal Government, through the Office of the Account General of the Federation, pays such salaries to Agency’s Staff.
“On the issue of lateral conversion, the management wishes to state that it is not true that the Agency is “denying lateral conversion to staff on professional cadres who graduated after attaining grade level 10…,” as posited by your Unions. However, in 2016 when the Agency’s Senior Staff Committee recommended for the lateral conversion of Officers on Salary Grade Level 10 and above, the Ministry of Aviation stepped it down on the ground that the Agency’s practice contravenes Extant Rules and Regulations”.
“In giving importance to training of staff, the management in 2019 developed a guideline to standardize and formalize requests for study leaves for diploma, undergraduate, post graduate diploma and post graduate programmes. As a matter of policy and practice the issues of training and retraining of staff have been taken seriously”.
“The management wishes to categorically state that it has been doing all within its power to positively ameliorate all the sundry issues raised by the Staff and all the Unions in the Agency; as also management committed and dedicated to the promotion of Staff Welfare & Development, including securing what rightfully belongs to them. In so doing, however, the Agency is compel to strictly adhere to Government policies, as well as Extant Rules and Regulations.
“The agency, however, recognizes and respect the Constitutional provision for the freedom of association of the citizens of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and enjoins the Unions to equally respect the sanctity of the Law of the Federal Republic of Nigeria”, he added.