Nigeria: Minimum Wage - Labour Demands Five-Month Arrears

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Savings, money.
22 October 2019

The Trade Union Congress side of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council has called on the Federal Government to pay five months arrears of the new minimum wage when the payment begins this month.

They want the payment dated back to April 18 when President Muhammadu Buhari signed the new minimum wage bill into law.

The union vowed to take action against any organisation that pays below the new wage structure.

Implementation of the new wage structure has been stalled over a disagreement between the labour unions and government representatives on salary adjustments.

Specifically, the problem centred on the issue of relativity and consequential adjustments of salaries for various categories of workers.

On May 14, the federal government inaugurated the relativity and consequential adjustment committee, which set up a technical subcommittee to work out a template for the adjustment of salaries of public service employees in line with the minimum wage law.

The government and organised labour finally came to an agreement on the new minimum wage on Friday, 182 days after Mr Buhari had signed the bill.

New agreement

Both parties agreed on 23.2 percentage increase for workers on grade level 07; 20 per cent for those at grade level 08; 19 per cent for workers at grade level 09; 16 per cent for those at grade levels 10 to 14; and 14 per cent for workers at grade levels 15 to 17.

TUC demands

In a statement by the acting Chairman of the union, Anchaver Simon, and the Secretary, Alade Lawal, the workers' representatives on Monday urged the government to keep to its promise of carrying out a general review of wages of public servants in the country.

"We wish to advise that since the 2019 National Minimum Wage was signed into Law by Mr President on April 18, 2019, the implementation should start from that date so as not to trigger another avoidable round of agitation by public service employees and their trade unions," he said.

He said the union was glad that the government took note of the need for a general salary review in the public service.

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