Stakeholders carpet FG over ‘endless’ negotiations on new minimum wage
Stakeholders in the nation’s education sector have lampooned the Federal Government over what they described as ‘endless’ negotiations and reluctance to pay the N30, 000 new minimum wage it earlier approved.
They insisted that setting up one panel after the other was in government’s bid to frustrate the working class.Deputy National President of Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), Yekini Kareem Agunbiade and former National Deputy President of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT), Vincent Chike Otikpa, made the assertion at the seventh Quadrennial Delegates’ Conference of Schools and Colleges Trade Groups Council of NASU in Awka, Anambra State yesterday.
While delivering his address, Agunbiade raised the alarm that the Federal and state governments have hidden under endless negotiations on N30, 000 new minimum wage percentage increase and adjustment with representatives of organised labour to show disdain for better life for the nation’s workers.
He also accused governments of failing to implement the Sought Peculiarity Allowance (SPA) to NASU members, naming all the five South East states, among other seven states that share a similar fate.
“The unpleasant drama that took place during the negotiation processes between government and private sector employers of labour and the central labour organisations remain a huge lesson for organised labour.“It is unfortunate that negotiations between government and labour leaders on percentage increase and adjustment of workers’ salaries to N30, 000 is yet to be concluded without further relay,” he said.
He also pointed out that the Federal and state governments as well as private sector employers of labour should take steps “to hasten the process and ensure that implementation of the new national minimum wage becomes reality.
Speaking, Otikpa, who was also a former Chairman of the Anambra State Universal Education Board (ASUBEB) supported Agunbiade’s submission and attributed government’s care free attitude to the leadership of the unions.He said contrary to what obtained a decade or two ago, labour leaders of today were no longer proactive and pander to the whims and caprices of the employers or government representatives to the detriment of overall interest and welfare of workers.
He, therefore, advocated training and retraining of union leaders to enable them to understand the intricacies of leading workers, adding that such knowledge and experience acquired would go a long way in helping them to effectively handle situations that may arise to succeed as activists.
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