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Labour, NMA vow to resist pay cuts in Kogi

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Yahaya Bello


Against the backdrop of alleged move by the Kogi State government to cut workers’ salaries by half, organised labour in the state has vowed to vehemently racist any move to reduce workers’ salary, especially at the council and primary school levels.

The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), Kogi chapter, has also rejected the proposed percentage salary payment to its members. Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in the state, Onuh Edoka, stated this in Lokoja at a press conference to mark the Workers’ Day themed ‘60 Years of Nationhood: Insecurity, Wage, Poverty and the Future of Work in Nigeria’.

This year’s celebration was devoid of the usual funfair due to the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) ravaging the world, including Nigeria.To demonstrate that all is not well, Edoka who spoke on behalf of Trade Union congress (TUC) and NLC, however, said Kogi workers were once again faced with a challenge over the April 2020 salary, but were dialoguing.

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His words, “We hope that workers will not be short-changed in any form. We pray for fair deal from the state government.

“May I use this occasion to inform you all that apart from the payment of salaries, Kogi civil servants are looking up to [Governor Yahaya Bello] to consider the payment of their 30 per cent balance for August to December 2017 salaries and other salary arrears.”

Kogi NMA chairman, Dr. Kabiru Zubair, stated yesterday in Lokoja, that the association rejected any salary cut for doctors and other healthcare workers in the state.

“The attention of the NMA, Kogi State chapter, has been drawn by her affiliate bodies in the state to the proposed wage cut by the government.”

“The NMA is not unaware of the ongoing pandemic and the consequent economic downturn. But the NMA strongly rejects any salary cut for doctors and other Health Care Workers (HCWs). This is because doctors in Kogi have just been getting along on half salary before now occasioned by the non-implementation of corrected CONMESS (Consolidated Medical Salary Structure), the new minimum wage of N30,000 and its consequential adjustment, skipping and relativity, promotion and annual step increment.

“Hence, the average doctor working with the Kogi civil service is already at a serious financial disadvantage compared to his or her counterpart with the Federal Civil Service or other states of the federation where these salary adjustments have been implemented,” he said.

The chairman noted that the Federal Government had recently increased the hazard allowance of all HCWs from N5,000 monthly to 50 per cent of their consolidated basic salary, to encourage and retain them to do more for the nation, saying it was commendable.

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