25 February 2013

Nigeria: Union Gives 21-Day Strike Notice to Education Minister

Lagos — Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN) has given the Minister of Education Professor Ruqayyatu Ahmad Rufa'i, 21 days to resolve outstanding labour issues in her ministry.

The union said the ministry had since 2009 failed to convey a meeting to discuss and resolve outstanding labour issues in the ministry, despite several written demands by the union that both parties should come to the dialogue table.

ASCSN in a press statement by its Secretary General, Comrade Alade Bashir Lawal said the union would have no choice but to embark on mass action against the government should the issues linger after the next 21 days.

"It is common knowledge that in instances where the management of the federal ministry of education went through the motion of conducting promotion examinations for deserving officers; the reality on ground is that those who excelled in such tests are not paid their new emoluments commensurate with their new status nor placed in the appropriate grade levels," he said.

He said they were worried that, there were several cases where officers on grade level 10 for instance who passed promotion interview and were elevated to grade level 12 were later on subjected to further promotion examination and uplifted to grade level 13 and then to grade level 14. However, he added that in spite of such series of promotions, the officers in question were still being paid salary as grade level 10 staff in spite of their complaints that they should be properly remunerated.

"This practice, to say the least, smacks of insensitivity on the part of the management as it creates the impression that the welfare of workers is of little or no value in the federal ministry of education," he lamented.

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