The Chairman Joint Public Service Negotiating Council Plateau State, Comrade James Diwa, has allayed the fears of public servants at the local government level in the state over their uncertainty of being captured in the ongoing N30,000 minimum wage being negotiated with the government.
Diwa disclosed this while speaking with journalists in Jos the State capital.
The chairman said unlike the N18,000 minimum wage were local government workers were not properly captured and were only paid between 50%-60% of the amount depending on the states, the N30,000 increase was quite different as it 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, including writing to him officially to find out if they are part of the negotiation.
He added that 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 to know that they are fully carried along in the negotiation.
According to him, “At the end of the negotiations, it is expected that we will have one salary structure that is applicable to all, including the local government.
“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”, he maintained.
“So, we are trying as much as possible to see that the implementation of the N30,00 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 the prompt payment of salaries.
He however stressed 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 the full implementation of the minimum wage at the state level.
The unions involved in the negotiating council consists of the Nigerial Labour Congress (NLC), the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and all the affiliates labour unions.