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LABOUR REJECTSSALARY INCREASE- DEMANDS FOR LIVING WAGE

 

Samuel Marshall

Foreseeing the danger of inflation easily reducing the worth of the increased salary, the latest 25 to 35 percent added wage for federal civil servants have been rejected by Comrade Joe Ajaero, the president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC). The labour leader condemned the increase as “mischievous”, and stated that the organised labour had agreed on N615,000 as the livable wage for workers.

His reaction is coming after the Federal Government’s statement on Tuesday 30th April, 2024 issued by the Head of Press at the National Salaries Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC), Emmanuel Njoku. The statement proclaimed extensive wage increment effective from January 1st, 2024.

Declared next day, Wednesday, 1st May, at the International Labour Day celebrations, across the country, the affected six salary structures noted were: the Consolidated Public Service Salary Structure (CONPSS); Consolidated Research and Allied Institutions Salary Structure (CONRAISS); Consolidated Police Salary Structure (CONPOSS); Consolidated Para-military Salary Structure (CONPASS); Consolidated Intelligence Community Salary Structure (CONICCS); and Consolidated Armed Forces Salary Structure (CONAFSS).

Those in the Tertiary Education and Health Sectors had already received their increases. They comprise the Consolidated University Academic Salary Structure (CONUASS) and Consolidated Tertiary Institutions Salary Structure (CONTISS) for Universities.

Polytechnics and Colleges of Education received theirs through the Consolidated Polytechnics and Colleges of Education Academic Staff Salary Structure (CONPCASS) and the Consolidated Tertiary Educational Institutions Salary Structure (CONTEDISS).

Also approved were increases in pension of between 20 and 28 per cent for pensioners on the Defined Benefits Scheme in respect to the six consolidated salary structures.

Comrade Ajaero mocked the government’s supposed new decision, noting that a part of the public service is being paid the new scale for sometime now; and that, adding the increment to the core civil service does not translate to a new salary scale.

In the meantime, rising inflation, fuel scarcity and high electricity tariff has kept alive the conflict between government and labour, with the earning ratio between the elites and the average workers accumulating progressively more to the advantage of the higher group.***

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