Minimum wage: NLC state chairmen meet Tues, talks with govs begin

State chairmen of the Nigeria Labour Congress will on Tuesday (tomorrow) meet in Enugu to discuss modalities to be adopted for negotiations on consequential adjustments  of the new minimum wage  with various state governments.

This meeting is coming after the conclusion of talks between organised labour and the Federal Government.

The Chairman of the Kwara State NLC, Issa Ore, who disclosed this in an interview with The PUNCH on Sunday, said the meeting would produce guidelines for negotiations of the adjustments in various states.

He said,   “All the chairmen of the NLC in the 36 states have scheduled a meeting for Enugu on Tuesday where we are going to discuss modalities which we are going to adopt for negotiations of the new minimum wage for our members in each state. It is when we return from the meeting that we are going to start negotiations with the state governments.”

Also, his Enugu State counterpart, Viginus Nwobodo, confirmed the meeting in an interview with one of our correspondents, saying, “I will be hosting a retreat of all the 36 state chairmen of the NLC in Enugu on Tuesday and the issues of the minimum wage consequential adjustments will be discussed as they relate to states.”

Negotiations in states begin this week

The two labour leaders said this just as there were indications on Sunday that negotiations with state governors would begin this week.

The Federal Government and organised labour had on Thursday agreed on the percentage increase on the consequential adjustments in workers’ salaries as a result of the new minimum wage of N30,000.

Both parties had agreed on 23.2 per cent increase for workers at grade level 07; 20 per cent for those at grade level 08; 19 per cent for workers at grade level 09; 16 per cent for those on levels 10 to 14; and 14 per cent increment for workers at grade levels 15 to 17.

They reached the agreement 182 days after President Muhammadu Buhari signed the new minimum wage bill into law.

While the Kaduna State Government began the implementation of the new minimum wage in September, others said they were awaiting the conclusion of negotiations at the federal level.

The Chairman of the Nigeria Governors’ Forum, Dr Kayode Fayemi,  had in an interview with journalists in Lagos on October 13, said the country could  not meet specific demands of organised labour on the salary adjustments.

Before Thursday’s agreement was reached, labour demanded 29 per cent salary increase for officers at   salary grade level 07 to 14 and 24 per cent adjustment for officers at salary grade level 15 to 17.  The Federal Government had presented a proposal of 11 per cent salary increase for officers at grade level 07 to 14 and 6.5 per cent adjustment for workers at grade level 15 to 17.

Fayemi, who is also the Ekiti State governor, had wondered where the country would get money to meet the demand of labour.

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