States’ minimum wage negotiating councils get guidelines today

The 36 state councils of the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council will on Tuesday (today) meet with the national body of the council in Abuja.

At the meeting, the state councils will receive directives on how to negotiate with state governments on the consequential adjustments arising from the new minimum wage of N30 000.

The Federal Government had on October 18, 2019 agreed with the organised labour on the consequential adjustment and percentage increase for workers in the federal civil service. Each of the joint negotiating council is expected to open negotiation with the state government.

The Secretary of the JNPSNC, Alade Lawal, on Monday told our correspondent the one-day meeting would set the pace for negotiations with state governments.

He said, “We are set for a meeting with our state councils on Tuesday (today). We have invited leaders of the 36 state councils for the meeting, which will set the pace for negotiation with state governors.

“We do not envisage any problem with any of the state governments because they are aware of what the demand is. After the meeting, the state councils will depart to carry out their assignment with their respective state governments.

“We are not going to be involved but if problem arises in the course of negotiations, we are ready to step in. The Nigeria Labour Congress and the Trade Union Congress at the national level are also ready to get involved if negotiations break down.”

In an earlier interview, Alade told our correspondent that state councils did not require any official document from the Federal Government to open negotiations with state governments.

He added that the document being expected from the FG through the National Income, Salaries and Wages Commission was only a table.

He said, “The document is a table but based on what was agreed with the FG (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 adjustment, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation will transmit the approval to the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, which 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 would be issued.”