Hammed Shittu in Ilorin
Kwara State Government has signed agreement with the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council on the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage and consequential adjustment for non-teaching staff of four tertiary institutions in the state.
The affected institutions are Colleges of Education Ilorin and Oro; Kwara State Polytechnic, Ilorin; and College of Arabic and Islamic Legal Studies (CAILS), Ilorin.
The institutions have been on strike for over three months now over the implementation of workers’ minimum wage.
In a statement issued in Ilorin after the signing of the agreement with the government and the union leaders of the affected institutions, the state Head of Service, Modupe Oluwole, stated that: “The agreement, among other things, set the effective date for the implementation of the new minimum wage covering the concerned workers at the tertiary institutions on July 1, 2022.
“The deal also provided that the government shall in subsequent wage review include the unions at the tertiary institutions in the committee for negotiations on behalf of workers; moderate subvention payment process to be flexible to enable payment of workers at the tertiary institutions as and when due, and that there shall be no retrenchment of workers as a result of the implementation of the minimum wage.
“We are gathered here to sign the last bit of the N30, 000 minimum wage and consequential adjustment for non-teaching staff at the Colleges of Education, Kwara State Polytechnic, and College of Arabic and Islamic Legal Studies (CAILS).
“I want to say thank you to these unions for being considerate.”
The statement added: “This agreement was made on July 25, 2022, between the Kwara State Government and the Joint Public Service Negotiation Council (JNC) Kwara State organ on behalf of Senior Staff Union in Colleges of Education Nigeria (SSUCOEN) and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), on the implementation of Consolidated Tertiary Education Institutions Salary Structure (CONTEDISS).
“Everyone knows the situation of things today in the country. Many states in the country are finding it very difficult to pay the necessary wages, including Kwara.
“But the state Governor, Mallam AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq, has made the payment of salaries first line charge to ensure that all salaries are paid as and when due. The governor has promised not to renege on the agreement. So, I think he deserves to be applauded by all.”
It explained further that: “Governor AbdulRazaq recognises the fact that workers are key, and they need their pay, and he is doing all he can to ensure that workers get paid.
“Almost everything that comes to the state goes to the payment of salaries. We have states that are counting months of unpaid salaries but the situation is not like that in Kwara State.
“The government appreciates you and we are not taking this lightly. We will continue to do our best to encourage workers. We know some states started paying the minimum wage but could not continue. We thank God for the kind of governor we have in the state.”
However, the state Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Isa Ore, commended the governor, the Head of Service, and other key stakeholders in the struggle to achieve the feat.
He said: “Today, another landmark achievement was made here in the history of Kwara State. Minimum wage and consequential agreement was signed for the education sector.
“The workers in Kwara State are known to be patient, and we have mutual understanding with the state government. In the next few years, another minimum wage will come on board.”
Also, the Chairman, Senior Staff Union in Colleges of Education Nigeria (SSUCOEN), Love Adeyemi, applauded AbdulRazaq for showing sincere commitment to the welfare of the state workers.