Minimum Wage: Labour Sets Dec 31 Deadline For Govs

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Public service workers under the aegis of the Joint National Public Sector Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) have given the governors of the 36 states of the federation December 31 to conclude negotiations on the consequential adjustment of the N30,000 new minimum wage with their state councils.

JNPSNC said that from that date, it expects the governors to effect the payment of new wages to its members across the country.

The deadline was given in Abuja yesterday by the acting chairman of JNPSNC, Comrade Simon Anchaver, during a meeting with the state councils. He warned that any governor, who fails to implement the new wage between now and the given date, stands the risk of being impeached by the people who elected them into office.

While directing the state councils to commence negotiations with their governors immediately, he said that national officers of the JNSPC would be deployed in the states to supervise the negotiations.

Anchaver said: “We have called for immediate implementation. If a governor is able to pay within the next one month we don’t have a problem with that. Between now to the end of the last quarter of this year, latest 31st of December, we are expecting that the negotiations will be concluded and signed and the implementation of the new wage starts from April 18, 2019.

“We are calling on the state governors to commence the implementation of the new national wage immediately. Any governor that says he will not pay stands to be impeached by the workers in that state. Labour creates wealth and so we should not allow our politicians spend our money on themselves alone, they should also distribute it among the people that elected them into office,” he said.

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He said that the meeting was to present the state councils with templates to guide their negotiations and noted that state governments like Kaduna State which claimed to have begun the implementation of the new wage were “on their own” as the council would have to review what such states want to pay to the workers.

On his part, the secretary-general of the JNPSNC, Mr Alade Lawal, who disclosed that the state councils would soon begin the distribution of letters to the state governments to start negotiations, said that the council was expecting an agreed template from the National Salaries Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) to act as guideline to the states for onward negotiations

“Negotiation with state governments starts anytime from today, we have agreed that the Joint National Negotiating Council should send letters to state governments which will be sent tomorrow, the draft for the letter is ready.

“We will first send it to our members’ email addresses in the states and then we will send the hard copy to the state governments, Negotiation starts immediately after the receipt of the letter.

“There are three documents handed over to the state negotiating council chairmen, the first one is the agreement we signed with the federal government on the consequential adjustment. We are expecting a circular from the National Incomes Salaries and Wages Commission but we are being proactive. We have decided to develop a table on consolidated public salary structure and the consolidated health sector salary arrangement.

“This is like a replica of the table that we are expecting from the NISWC based on the agreement that we signed with the federal government. This was given to the state negotiating council chairmen to serve as guide so that they can have a view of what it looks like when they start their negotiation in their states.

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“It, however, does not serve as the circular we are expecting from the federal government through the NISWC. The federal government will still issue the circular in respect of the new wage structure so the one we have done is not binding but just a working document between us and our counterparts in states.

“The document will not hinder their negotiation with state governments. It is for the personal use of our members in the states, we are not forwarding it to the state governments,” he said.

On the December 31 deadline, he said: “We are hopeful that by December 31, all negotiations should be wrapped up. In areas where we have difficulties, we have decided to move in as a group to shut down the space towards ensuring that implementation is done.”

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