Socialist Party of Nigeria (SPN) has asked Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State to give priority to early implementation of the new minimum wage of N30, 000 in the state.
State Secretary of the party, Comrade Ayodeji Adigun in a statement made available to journalists in Ibadan, stressed that in as much as the party commended the governor for early payment of Oyo workers December salaries as well as the 13th month salary, the governor should facilitate timely implementation of the new minimum wage.
The party observed that while it welcomes the fact that the committee to negotiate the modalities for the implementation of the N30, 000 minimum wage in the state was eventually set-up by the Seyi Makinde-led government, it suspected that the motive is to beat the December 31st ultimatum given to all state government by the National leadership of the two labour centers (NLC and TUC).
“As a matter of fact, SPN is of the opinion, that as good as prompt payment of salary and award of 13th month bonus might be, a serious interest and priority should have also been given to the early implementation of the new minimum wage of N30, 000 and its corresponding consequential adjustment for all categories of civil servants in the state without retrenchment
“Thiis to us is more desirable and as important as the prompt payment of salary and award of the 13th month bonus not only because the minimum wage itself was mandated by law but also that its implementation would have made both the monthly salary and the awarded 13th month bonus to be more valuable if it had been commenced”.
The party said it believed that the state Governor should be more concerned with the implementation of the new minimum wage apart from the 13th months salary which was paid to the workers in the state.
“It is in the light of this, we of the SPN strongly hold that in addition to prompt payment of salary and award of 13th month bonus there should be commitment to immediate implementation of the new minimum wage. Unfortunately, no concrete commitment of such was made by the Seyi Makinde-led government until recently when it was forced to set up a negotiating committee following the December 31st, 2019 ultimatum given to all state governments by the organized labour. Instead, investment on propaganda around the issue of prompt payment of salary and the award of 13th month bonus continue to be deepened.
“This therefore, raises a suspicion over whether or not the prompt payment of salary and the award itself is not a deliberate ploy to divert the attention of the civil servants in the state including the labour leaders from demanding from the implementation of the new minimum wage of N30, 000. We also call on the labour leaders and their representatives in the negotiating committee not to allow the committee to become another ploy to unduly delay the implementation of the new minimum wage.
“As far as we are concerned, the task of the committee is to help to negotiate the modalities for the implementation of the new minimum wage and its consequential adjustment including the payment of the over seven months accumulated arrears of the new minimum wage without retrenchment. In our opinion, the FG/labour agreement on consequential adjustment for the N30, 000 minimum wage should be the benchmark for the negotiation.
“According to this agreement, the percentage increase for difference category of workers are as follows: 23.2% increase for workers on level seven, 20% increase for workers on level eight, 19% increase for workers on level nine, 16% increase for workers on 10-14 and a 14% increase for workers in levels 15 to 17.
“Therefore, the labour leaders and the representatives of labour in the committee must also be vigilant so as to ensure that the modalities for the implementation of the new minimum wage that will be signed on behalf of the entire civil servants in the state does not fall below the agreement reached by the National leadership of labour at the federal level.
”This does not mean that effort to secure an agreement that will guarantee a higher pay for civil servants in the state should not also be tested. The labour leaders must also ensure that the implementation of any agreement reached must be in compliance with the minimum wage act. The minimum wage according to its act, is meant to be the minimum figure for the basic component of the total emolument per month earned by workers on the lowest cadre which is usually level 6 step 1 in the civil service. It is not the same as the total emoluments as often presented by the state governors”.
Affairsofnaija Reports (AON)