The Nigeria Labour Congress has called on the Federal Government to avoid distortion and overlap in the implementation of the new minimum wage while urging it to meet with the Joint National Public Service Negotiation Council to generate a fresh salary table so that all civil servants could benefit from the increase.
This is as Akwa Ibom State Governor, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, promised to comply with payment of the new minimum wage of N30,000 as approved by the federal government and other allowances to the state workforce.
On Wednesday, President of the NLC, Ayuba Wabba, in a speech he read on behalf of organized labour in the country during the May Day celebration, called for immediate implementation of the new minimum wage, stating that a lot of time was already wasted during negotiation with the government.
A statement signed by the chairman of the Trade Union Side of the JNPSNC, Abdrafiu Adeniji and the secretary, Alade Lawal, TUS said a major error was committed in 2011 when the minimum wage was increased to N18,000.
It urged the government to avoid creating a crisis in the public service through the improper implementation of the new minimum wage.
The statement said, “The normal practice is that once a new minimum wage is fixed, a fresh salary table is generated so that employees in all salary grade levels will benefit from the new emoluments. This is the standard practice all over the world and Nigeria should not be an exception.
“The generation of a fresh salary table in line with the new minimum wage will prevent distortion and overlapping. After the 2011 National Minimum Wage was fixed, the consequential adjustment was not properly handled. The government decided to award N900 across board for all the other grade levels in the civil service, thereby distorting the salary chart. This led to a lot of crisis, a scenario that should not be allowed to repeat itself this time round.
“The government should not continue to generate avoidable crisis in the civil service and this is why we are now urging it to do the needful by urgently inviting the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council with a view to commencing negotiation on a new salary table that will meet the aspirations of workers. When a new salary table is generated, it will help to maintain the current relativity among all grades in the civil service,” the statement said.
According to the union, the new table would also assist state governments to have a seamless implementation of the new minimum wage.