Management, N’Assembly Workers Reach Agreement

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By Shola Oyeyipo in Abuja

Following the sustained industrial action by legislative workers under the umbrella of Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) and the need to address the grievances of workers which nearly crippled legislative activities during the week, the House of Representatives Thursday received a report of its Committee on Finance on the need to address the demand of the agitating workers.

The Chairman, House Committee on Finance, Hon. Babangida Ibrahim, laid the report tagged ‘Need to Ensure Implementation of the National Assembly Budget Particularly, on Staff Matters’ during Thursday’s plenary.

This is as members of staff of the National Assembly said they deliberately suspended their four-day warning strike on Wednesday to allow President Muhammadu Buhari present the 2019 budget.

PASAN Chairman, Musa Bature Muhammad, said workers resolved that the budget was a national issue which supersedes the interests of PASAN members alone.

Speaking with journalists Thursday morning, at the end of their four-day warning strike, the PASAN leader, flanked by other members of staff, said the main intention behind their industrial action was never to disrupt the budget presentation but to draw national attention to the plights of workers in the National Assembly.

They were however excited that the industrial action was successful, noting that both chambers of the National Assembly have taken actions to address the situation.

According to him, “As you will recall the National Assembly chapter of the Parliamentary Staff Association of Nigeria and its sister chapter in the Commission had embarked on the four-day warning strike commencing from Monday, 17th December, 2018.

“Today being December 22, 2018 marks the end of the warning strike,” adding that some of the demands are “28 per cent increment in the Consolidated Legislative Salary Structure (CONLESS); as a result of discussions with the management, they have offered that implementation of the increase will commence from January 2019 and promise to source for the arrears and pay in installments.”

“Review of the condition of service; the management has confirmed that both houses of the National Assembly have passed the document and the process of harmonisation has commenced. They promised that the conditions of service would be passed as soon as the house can sit.

“Release of promotions; we engaged management vigorously and agreed that the outstanding letters will be released as soon as work resumes. Also, as regards the issue of no vacancy, a committee was set up to work with the union to identify available vacancies before the end of the year 2018.

“On the constitution of the commission, it is already in the public domain that the list of nominees has been sent to the President of the Federal Republic for appointment into the commission,” he said.