The Secretary to the Government of the Federation, Boss Mustapha, is expected to meet with members of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council on Wednesday in Abuja to discuss issues that led to the breakdown of negotiation between the Federal Government and the council on the implementation of N30,000 new minimum wage.
Negotiation between the FG and the JNPSNC, which is representing labour in the technical committee set up to negotiate consequential adjustment in workers’ salaries as a result of the new minimum wage, had broken down due to differences in the percentage increase in the salaries for workers.
While the government proposed 9.5 per cent salary increase for employees on grade levels 07-14 and five per cent for those on grade levels 15-17, labour is demanding 30 per cent increase for officers on grade levels 07 to 14; and 25 per cent increase for grade levels 15 to 17.
The FG, through the Chairman of the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, Richard Egbule, announced on Tuesday that the it had approved with immediate effect payment of the new minimum wage of N30,000 for federal public service workers currently earning wages below the new approved benchmark.
The breakdown in the negotiation and Egbule’s announcement prompted the JNPSNC to write a letter to the SGF, where it was stated that the reluctance of the FG’s representatives on the minimum wage implementation committee to reopen negotiation with labour was an indication that government was not ready to pay the new minimum wage to workers.
The letter dated July 16, 2019 with ref JNPSNC/TUS/Vol.V/402, which was signed by the acting Chairman of the JNPSNC, Simon Anchaver, and the Secretary General, Alade Lawal, was titled, ‘Current state of affairs in respect of the issue of negotiation of relativity/consequential adjustment of salaries arising from the national minimum wage of N30,000 per month: Appeal for urgent intervention.’
When asked on Sunday if the SGF had responded to the letter, Lawal told our correspondent via a text message that the SGF would meet the council on Wednesday.
When contacted to confirm the SGF invitation, the Director of Communication at the SGF office, Mr Willie Bassey, said he could not confirm the meeting as he was out of Abuja.
A meeting of the national leadership, state chairmen and secretaries of the Trade Union Congress side of the JNPSNC was also held in Abuja on Tuesday after which the body stated that it had begun mobilisation of its members all over the federation for an industrial action if the government failed to resume negotiation with it over the minimum wage implementation.