The Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council said on Tuesday that it has commenced a nationwide mobilisation of civil servants in the country for a possible showdown with the government over the deadlock in discussion over the consequential adjustment in salary scale of workers.
the Council said on Tuesday that negotiation on the consequential adjustment for officers on grade level 7 and above has deadlocked following the adjournment of seating of the Technical Committee set up by the President indefinitely by the government side.
The council expressed displeasure over government delay in concluding the template for the implementation of the new minimum wage adding the percentage being proposed by the government team even after they have reduced their initial demand was ridiculous and unrealistic.
In a communique at the end of a meeting between the national body and Chairmen and Secretaries of state councils of the body, they claimed that while they have reduced their initial demand of 66.6 per cent increase on grade level and above to 30 per cent, the government was insisting on 9.5 per cent.
The communique signed by the Chairman, Comrade Anchaver Simon and Secretary, Comrade Alade Bashir Lawal, reads in part: “After extensive deliberations on the state of affairs in respect of the issue of negotiation of relativity/consequential adjustment of salaries of Public Service employees arising from new National Minimum Wage of N30,000.00 per month, the meeting noted that on Thursday 18th April, 2019, President Muhammadu Buhari signed the N30,000 monthly new National Minimum Wage Bill earlier passed by the National Assembly into Law after a long negotiation that lasted for almost two years.
“Following the signing of the new National Minimum Wage into Law, the Federal Government on Tuesday 14th May 2019 inaugurated the relativity/Consequential Adjustment Committee which in turn set up a Technical Sub-Committee to work out the template for the adjustment of salaries of Public Service Employees in line with the new minimum wage in other to ensure that all workers benefit from the new salary regime.
“The Government side argued that if 66.66% was added across board to the salaries of Public Servants, the wage bill will be too high for Government to bear; consequently, the Trade Union Side of the JNPSNC reviewed its demand downward because the government promised to undertake a general salary review in no distant future. Labour then maintained that 30% increase should be effected in the salaries of officers on grade levels 07-14 and 25% to salary of officers on grade level 15-17.
“Labour feels strongly that its demand is very much reductive bearing in mind sew salary adjustment approved for some agencies of government whereby salary GL 01 step 1 officer will be going home with about N150,000.00/month.
“On its part, the Government Side insisted that 9.5% salary adjustment for officers on grade levels 07-14 and 5% for those on grade levels 15-17 was the ideal. Both parties agreed to capture the two positions in its. Report to the plenary session of the larger Consequential Adjustment Committee for further discussion.
“Surprisingly, when the Technical Sub-Committee reconvened the Government Side introduced a strange clause to the discussion insisting that the Term of Reference of the Committee was to work out the consequential adjustment of salaries of Public Servants based on the subhead provided for salaries in the 2019 Budget.
“All efforts by the Trade Union Side to persuade the Government Side to return to the right track of negotiation and agree on a realistic percentage increase proved abortive. Thus, the Government Side deliberately created a stalemate and thereafter adjoined the meeting of the Technical Committee sine die; The negotiation therefore deadlocked.
“The Trade Union Side of JNPSNC has now resolved that the Federal Government should reconvene the meeting of the Technical Committee on Consequential Adjustment immediately so that it can conclude its deliberations and ensure that all Public Service Employees benefit adequately from the N30,000 new monthly National Minimum Wage signed into Law by Mr. President since April, 2019.