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Labour insists on minimum wage, says 35% pay increase not enough

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The 25 per cent and 35 per cent increase in workers’ salaries announced by the federal government is not the minimum wage, Tommy Okon, President of Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), has clarified.

He was fielding questions from newsmen on Wednesday in Abuja.

Okon, who is also the Vice President of the Trade Union Congress (TUC), said that the approval of the salary increase was to close the salary gap that existed in some ministries, departments and agencies.

“Other sectors have benefitted from these increases; it is only the core Federal Civil Service. So, it is a good development, no doubt, but the people need to be informed.

“Some even saw it as if the government had ambushed the labour unions and then come out unilaterally to increase the minimum wage to that amount. Whereas, it is not the minimum wage.

“The minimum wage is ongoing, what the government did was to correct some gaps that existed among the pay of those in those sectors listed,” he said.

Okon said the clarification was important for the generality of workers and the masses at large because the salary increase was to bridge the wage gap in the civil service.

NAN reported that the Federal Government on Tuesday announced an increase of between 25 per cent and 35 per cent in the salary of civil servants on the remaining six consolidated salary structures.

They included Consolidated Public Service Salary Structure, CONPSS, Consolidated Research and Allied Institutions Salary Structure, CONRAISS and Consolidated Police Salary Structure, CONPOSS.

Others were Consolidated Para-military Salary Structure, CONPASS, Consolidated Intelligence Community Salary Structure, CONICCS and Consolidated Armed Forces Salary Structure, CONAFSS.

Meanwhile, the Organised Labour has given the Federal Government till May ending to finalise the process of implementing the new national minimum wage for workers.

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Mr Joe Ajaero, made the demand on Wednesday in Abuja at the 2024 edition of the International Workers Day.

This year’s celebration focuses on ‘Ensuring Safety and Health at Work in a Changing Climate’.

The Organised Labour has given the Federal Government till May ending to finalise the process of implementing the new national minimum wage for workers.

The President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, Mr Joe Ajaero, made the demand on Wednesday in Abuja at the 2024 edition of the International Workers Day.

This year’s celebration focuses on ‘Ensuring Safety and Health at Work in a Changing Climate’.

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Ajaero warned that if the negotiation is not concluded by the ending of May, there may not be industrial peace in Nigeria.

He said the process of fixing a new national minimum wage was still ongoing and had witnessed robust engagements.

“All parties in the tripartite process are well represented and the engagement has been robust.

“We have placed our demand of N615, 000 only before our social partners while we await their offer.

“If, however, the negotiation of the minimum wage is not concluded by the end of May, the trade union movement in Nigeria will no longer guarantee industrial peace in the country,” he said.

 

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