Ekiti Workers Reject FG’s Adjustment to Minimum Wage

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Victor Ogunje in Ado Ekiti

Civil servants in Ekiti State on Thursday rejected the downward adjustment made to the new minimum wage table by the federal government, claiming that the adjustment was “retrogressive and slave offer to Nigerian workers”.

Operating under the banner of Joint Public Service Negotiation Council (JPSNC), the body wondered what would happen at the state level if the Federal Government should be coming up with such adjustment.

The JPSNC said: “The Federal Government should do it right so that it will have multiplier effect on workers and the society.

JPSNC’c Chairman in Ekiti State, Kayode Fatomiluyi and Secretary, Gbenga Olowoyo told journalists in Ado Ekiti that for the new minimum wage to be effective and meaningful to workers, the adjustment had to be proportional.

Fatomiluyi said: “The JPSNC Ekiti State rejects in totality, the offer being made by the Federal Government because it is not worker-friendly. We see it as a deceit and a slave offer. It should be proportional for it to have effect. We support the rejection of the offer by labour negotiation team of the Federal Government.”

The Federal Government is proposing an adjustment with 66 per cent for grade levels 1 – 6, 9.5 per cent for grade levels 7 – 14 and five per cent for levels 15 – 17. But labour union is demanding 30 per cent for grade levels 7 – 14 and 25 per cent for grade levels 15 to 17 for the new minimum wage to be beneficial.

The JPSNC commended the Ekiti State Governor, Dr Kayode Fayemi, for his administration’s policies that are tilted toward infrastructures improvement, knowledge economy, plans for job creations and socio-economic development. However, the council called on the governor to redress alleged injustice done to workers by the past administration.

Fatomiluyi said: “The JPSNC calls on Ekiti State Government to quickly look into the different promotions given to workers in Ekiti State without financial benefit as well as arrears of unpaid workers’ salaries and 2017, 2018 and 2019 unpaid leave bonuses.

“The present administration should, as a matter of urgency, do the needful in this regard to encourage workers,” adding that the government should ensure that “all deductions should be paid alongside the salaries to avoid frictions and suspicions,” he said.