Chairman of the Joint Public Service Negotiating Council, Plateau State, James Diwa, has allayed the fears of public servants in the local government areas of the state over their uncertainty of being captured in the ongoing N30,000 minimum wage being negotiated with the government.
Speaking yesterday in Jos the Plateau State capital, Diwa said unlike the N18,000 minimum wage where local government workers were not properly captured and were only paid between 50%-60% of the amount depending on states, the N30,000 was a more formidable policy signed by the federal government and covering federal, state and local government public servants.
He pointed out that the local government workers have been grumbling and sending messages, writing to him officially to find out if they are part of the negotiation, and as a result he was duty bound to let them know as the chairman of the joint negotiating council that they have nothing to fear because they are fully part of the N30,000 minimum wage negotiations.
“The N30,000 minimum wage negotiation is ongoing with the Plateau State government and we have gone far. We want the local government staff to know that they are fully carried along in the negotiation.
“At the end of negotiations, it is expected that we will have one salary structure that is applicable to all, including the local governments. The areas of disparity in the salaries of state workers and that of the local government is gone for good and we will not accept that any longer.
“So, we are trying as much as possible to see that the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage structure and the consequential arrangement is both at the state and local government level. That is why we want to draw the attention of our colleagues at the local government to know that they are not left behind.
“We know that in the N18,000 minimum wage negotiation in 2011, they were not properly carried along, and they only received about 55% of the N18,000 minimum wage and that fear is still there in them that the previous situation could still occur,” he said.
Diwa commended Governor Simon Lalong for being a labour friendly governor and for prompt payment of salaries, stressing that as one of the governors who was part of the committee who agreed on the N30,000 minimum wage negotiation at the federal level, he is expected to oblige and consent to its full implementation at the state level.
The negotiating council consists of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and all the affiliate labour unions.