Minimum Wage Negotiations: National, State Councils To Meet Next Week

NLC President, Mr. Ayuba Wabba

The Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council, which negotiated the consequential adjustments on the new minimum wage, will on Tuesday meet with its state councils over negotiations with state governments.

The Secretary of the JNPSNC, Alade Lawal, who disclosed this in an interview with our correspondent on Wednesday, said members of the state councils would be trained in how to approach negotiations with state governments.

After the Federal Government agreed on consequential adjustments and percentage increase for workers in the federal civil service with organised labour, the joint negotiating council in each state is expected to open negotiation with its state government with guidance from the national headquarters of the JNPSNC.

Lawal said the negotiating council leaders at the state councils had been told to move to Abuja for an important meeting on Tuesday.

He said, “The joint council in each of the states will open negotiation with their state government without the involvement of the Nigeria Labour Congress or the Trade Union Congress. These two bodies will come in when the need arises.

“As regards the guidelines, we have invited the state councils to a meeting in Abuja on Tuesday. In other words, the JNPSNC leaders and our state councils will meet to discuss the issue of negotiation with state governments. It is at the meeting that we will guide the state councils on how to go about their negotiation.”

Asked if such guidelines would help the state councils irrespective of the absence of an official document from the Federal Government on what it agreed with labour, Lawal said the document being expected was only a table, noting that the agreement with the FG on consequential adjustments remained sacrosanct.

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He stated, “The document is a table but based on what was agreed with the Federal Government (on October 18, 2019), we can calculate what each federal worker will get as new salary. If your salary has been increased by 23.2 per cent, just move the old salary by 23.2 per cent forward to get the new figure.

“The procedure is that as soon as the Federal Executive Council approves the new wage structure and the consequential adjustments, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation will transmit the approval to the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment which in this case serves as the coordinator.

“The ministry will then move that to the office of the National Income, Salaries and Wages Commission after which an executive circular will be issued. All these have been prepared by now but they cannot be released until they get the official communication from government.”

Lawal said the national council and labour unions would monitor state negotiation and move in when necessary.

He added, “As far as we are concerned, there is no problem for now. The Federal Government, through the FEC had committed itself to December 31, 2019 deadline for the payment of all outstanding arrears. This means that if the federal workers don’t get their money in November, they will get it in December.

“For the states, the 36 joint councils will meet the national joint council first (on Tuesday) after which they will open negotiations with state governments. We will share experiences and certain information with them and also notify them of the intrigues involved. They need to prepare accurate date before opening negotiation with their state governments so that they can conveniently argue their case.”

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