Kogi, 12 Other States Miss Minimum Wage Adjustment Deadline

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As the December 31 deadline given by the organised labour for state governments to conclude negotiations with their unions on the consequential adjustments to the new minimum wage expires today, we can authoritatively report that at least 13 states will not meet the deadline.

The 13 states, which may face industrial crisis, include Kogi, Cross River, Yobe, Bayelsa, Ogun, Taraba, Oyo, Katsina, Plateau, Bauchi, Ekiti, Borno and Enugu.

It was, however, gathered that at least eight states were making last-minute efforts to conclude negotiations before the expiration of the deadline.

The eight states are Delta, Zamfara, Ondo, Sokoto, Osun, Kwara and Anambra.

The national leadership of the unions is also set to meet to assess progress made and decide on what further action to take against non-compliance by some states with the deadline.

Thisday gathered that Kogi State is one of the states that has not set up a committee to negotiate with the labour unions.

The state Chairman of TUC, Ranti Ojo, told Thisday that the labour had written the state government but there was no response from the government.

Seven States in Last-minute Rush to Conclude Negotiations

Meanwhile, the Delta State Government through the Committee headed by the Secretary to the State Government (SSG), Mr. Chiedu Ebie, has fully engaged the organised labour headed by Delta NLC Chairman, Mr. Goodluck Ofobruku, in negotiating the consequential adjustments for the state.

The SSG told Thisday that although the final seal was yet to be put on the government-labour talks, Governor Ifeanyi Okowa had approved the payment of the December due increment across the different salary levels to be paid with the January 2020 salary of Delta employees.

Ebie said: “So far, we have met severally where we reiterated the commitment of the Governor Ifeanyi Okowa-led administration to implement the new wage using the template received by us from the federal government.”

The Chairman of NLC in Zamfara State, Bashir Mafara, also told Thisday that since the government set up the implementation committee on Wednesday, the union and the government having been meeting to beat the deadline.

In Ondo, the Chairman of NLC, Mr. Sunday Adeleye, said the delay was due to the fact that the figure that the government offered as consequential adjustment for workers on Grade Level 7 and above was not acceptable.

Adeleye, however, said the government had agreed to pay what the federal government was paying workers on Grade Level 1-6 in full.

The NLC chairman said negotiations for adjustment for Grade Level 7 and above would be completed by today.

In a bid to meet up the deadline, the labour union and the government of Sokoto State have been having a marathon meeting to ensure that they beat the Tuesday deadline.

Speaking with Thisday, the chairman of NLC in the state, Aminu Umar Ahmad, said the union and the government were meeting daily to ensure that they conclude talks before tomorrow.

The Osun State government has also expressed optimism that negotiations would be concluded within the deadline.

The Kwara State Government has also commenced negotiations with joint labour unions in the state in order to meet tomorrow’s deadline.

The state government penultimate week in Ilorin set up a 15-member committee to negotiate with the joint labour unions in the state.

The government in a statement by Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrasaq’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Rafiu Ajakaye, said “the team is peopled by government officials and leadership of the labour unions in the state.”

Also speaking , a member of the implementation committee and state Chairman of the TUC, Mr. Kolawole Olumoh, who confirmed the commencement of negotiations with the government committee was hopeful they would beat the deadline.

Kwara State Chairman of NLC, Kabiru Ado Minjibir, said the negotiations had been concluded and the parties would soon decide the payment cut-off date.

The Anambra State Head of Service, Harry Uduh, in a telephone interview told Thisday in Awka that negotiations had been concluded and that the state was making arrangements to issue a circular that would contain the resolutions reached between the state government and the leaders of the NLC in the state.

Labour to Assess States’ Compliance with Deadline

Meanwhile, the national leadership of the unions is to set to meet to assess progress made and decide on what further action to take against non-compliance with the deadline.

Thisday gathered that as at the weekend only Lagos, Kaduna, Adamawa and Kebbi states have begun the full implementation of the new minimum wage signed into law in April 2019.

The President of TUC, Olaleye Quadri, who gave update on the negotiations, said the organised labour had agreed on a strategy to engage the states as separate entities during negotiations for the payment of minimum wage.

For instance, he said that the Ogun State chapter of the Joint Public Service Negotiating had planned a protest and warning strike in the state along with TUC and NLC just before Christmas but it was averted by the state government.

Quadri said the organised labour would make its position known on Monday (today) on the progress being made with the payment of the new minimum wage.

Credit: Thisday

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