Wednesday, 9 October 2019

NLC mobilizes workers to embark on another nation wide strike on 16th October 2019

The Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade
Union Congress (TUC) at a meeting with the Joint
National Public Service Negotiating Council
(JNPSNC)-Trade Union Side) in Abuja, warned
that labour would not guarantee industrial
peace in the country if their demands were not
met by government.
Public sector workers in Nigeria have been
contending with frustrations from day to day,
following the inability of the Federal
Government and organized labour to reach a
deal over a new wage that came into effect
more than six months ago.
In a statement jointly signed by NLC the
President, Ayuba Wabba, his TUC counterpart,
Quadri Olaleye and Simon Anchaver , Acting
Chairman of JNPSNC (Trade Union Side), the
unionists said that labour had all along
demonstrated restraint and patience with
government.
They noted that labour had to moderate its
initial position of having 66.6 per cent upward
salary adjustment for workers on salary grade
level 07 to grade level 17 by accepting downward
adjustment of 29 per cent for officers on salary
levels 07-14 and 24 per cent adjustment for
officers on salary grade levels 15-17.
“Despite this patriotic gesture, government has
kept insisting that it can only pay 11 per cent
for officers on grade levels 07-14 and 6.5 per
cent consequential wage increase to public
workers for officers on levels 15-17.”
According to them, the naira has suffered
devaluation from N150 to $1 in 2011 to N360 to
$1 in 2019, a depreciation of 140 per cent.
The unionists said that since the last national
minimum wage of N18,000 was put in place,
workers had been forced to suffer huge
inflation and astronomical hike in the prices of
essential goods and services.
They pointed out that petroleum price had been
hiked from N87 per litre to N145 per litre which
translated to 60 per cent price increase and
that electricity tariff increased by about 60 per
cent.
“Of recent, the Value Added Tax (VAT) has been
reviewed from 5 per cent to 7.2 per cent.
“The nonchalant attitude of the government
negotiating side has dragged negotiations for
consequential wages adjustment unduly.
“The offer by government for salary adjustment
of 11 per cent for public workers on salary
grade levels 07 – 14 and 6.5 per cent
consequential increase for public workers on
grade levels 15 – 17 is not acceptable to Nigerian
workers.
“We view the position of government as a show
of insensitivity to the general plight of workers
and an attempt to collect with the left hand
what government has offered with the right
hand.
“We demand the reconvening of the meeting of
the committee negotiating the consequential
adjustment with a view to concluding the process
that started on May 28 within one week.
“Entering into an agreement with labour to the
effect that salary of officers on grade 07-14
should be reviewed upward by 29 per cent while
that of officers on grade level 15-17 should be
reviewed upwards by 24 per cent.
“We demand immediate implementation of the
signed agreement on consequential adjustment
of public workers’ salaries with effect from
April 18 when the new national minimum wage
of N30, 000 per month was signed into law, ”
they said.
The News Agency of Nigeria recalls that the new
minimum wage bill was signed into law by
President Muhammadu Buhari on April 18.
However, deliberations has continued as the
issue of relativity and consequential adjustment
of salaries still persist.
On May 14, the Federal Government
inaugurated the relativity/consequential
adjustment committee, which in turn set up a
technical sub-committee, to work out a template
for the adjustment of salaries of public service
employees.
However, government and labour have failed to
reach an agreement over relativity and
consequential adjustment for the
implementation of the new minimum wage more
than six months since Buhari signed the
Minimum Wage Bill into law.
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