States must end minimum wage negotiations Dec 31 – Labour

The organised labour has told governors to end the minimum wage negotiation with workers in their respective states by December 31.

The Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council, which negotiated the consequential adjustment arising from the new minimum wage of N30,000 with the Federal Government, on Thursday said that it had reached out to all state governors in Nigeria to immediately begin negotiation with workers in their states.

After organised labour reached an agreement with the Federal Government on the consequential adjustment on October 18, 2019, negotiation is expected to move to the state level, with state councils of JNPSNC opening negotiation with state governments.

On Tuesday, leaders of the national headquarters of JNPSNC met chairmen of the 36 state councils in Abuja where information on how to go about negotiation in their states was shared with them. Three major documents that will guide the state councils in their negotiation were also handed to them.

Secretary of the union, Alade Lawal, told journalists after the meeting that although labour had yet to receive a circular dictating the new wage structure from the Federal Government through the National Income, Salaries and Wages Commission, the council had drawn a replica suitable for the state councils to negotiate with.

He said, “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. Negotiation starts immediately after the receipt of the letter.”

Our correspondent gathered from a reliable source at the council that the letters were dispatched on Wednesday to all state governors. A copy of the letter sent to one of the state governors, which was obtained by our correspondent, stated that the entire negotiation should be concluded on or before December 31, 2019.

The letter, dated November 6, 2019 with reference number JNPSNC/TUS/VOL.VI/686, was signed by the acting chairman of JNPSNC, Anchaver Simon, and the secretary, Lawal.

It was titled, ‘Urgent need for commencement of negotiation of consequential adjustment of salaries arising from the new national minimum wage of N30,000 per month in the states of the federation.’

JNPSNC wrote, “The national leadership of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council presents its compliments to the Executive Governor and wishes to inform you that negotiation of consequential adjustment arising from the new national minimum wage of N30,000 per month has just been concluded at the federal level and an agreement signed to that effect by all parties.

“It is necessary to inform you that the negotiation of consequential adjustment is expected to commence at the state level immediately. The negotiation will be handled by organised labour in the state to be led by the JNPSNC.

“We are hereby demanding that Your Excellency open up negotiation with the joint council in your state so that the entire exercise can be concluded on or before December 31, 2019.”

Apart from the letter, a copy of the signed agreement reached between labour and the Federal Government was also attached to the letter sent to the state governors. Lawal said the copy of the agreement was included in the letter to the governors to guide them on the minimum percentage of consequential adjustment that must be reached before the set date.
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