Organised labour in Plateau State has called on the state government to activate the mechanism for the immediate implementation of the new national minimum wage for the state’s civil servants.
In a letter to the Plateau State governor, Simon Bako Lalong, entitled; “Implementation of the 2019 New National Minimum Wage for Plateau State/Local Government Workers”, the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council, Plateau State Chapter; expressed its concern on the “long silence” from the state government on the implementation of the new wage.
The letter, dated 14th August, 2020, and routed through the Office of the Plateau State Head of Civil Service, where it was received same date, noted that the delay in implementation is having negative impacts workers productivity.
“Concerned over the long silence by government, and its negative consequences on the productivity of workers in the face of high cost of living and the recent increase in the pump price of premium motor spirit (PMS), organised labour is calling on government to as a matter of priority implement the new national minimum wage to reduce the present economic hardship being experienced by the civil servants,” the letter stated.
According to the signatories to the letter, Comrades James Diwa and Janet Ijah, Chairman and Secretary respectively, of the State Joint Negotiating Council (JNC), the implementation of the new wage was suspended in March this year following the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. The JNC stated that since then, nothing has been said and as a result, the state’s civil servants are yet to be paid “the new national minimum wage seventeen (17) months after it was signed into law by President Muhammadu Buhari.”
JNC stated further: “It is common knowledge that Corona Virus has come to stay like any other disease, hence, workers should not be at the receiving end when other sectors of the economy have come to terms with the “new normal”.
“Your Excellency Sir, while organized labour calls for the immediate implementation of the new National Minimum Wage, we equally wish to kindly remind you that the Minimum Wage Committee returns to the negotiating table to conclude on the arrears of the Minimum Wage and Pensions therein.”