The Ekiti State government on Friday announced the suspension of the Consequential Salary Adjustment (minimum wage) as well as a cut in workers’ and political appointees’ salaries.
The development, however, does not affect workers on grade levels 01 and 06, as their N30,000 minimum wage is not tampered with.
Workers on grade levels 07 to 12 have since January enjoyed the minimum wage, but that has now been suspended for a period of three months.
The cut was part of an agreement reached on Friday in Ado-Ekiti during the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the government and organised labour.
Representing the government were the Head of Service, Mrs Peju Babafemi; the Permanent Secretary, Office of Establishment and Service Matters, Mr. Bayo Opeyemi; and Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Labour Matters, Oluyemi Esan.
The chairmen of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Kolapo Olatunde; Trade Union Congress, Sola Adigun, and Joint Negotiating Council, Kayode Fatomiluyi as well as their secretaries signed on behalf of labour.
In the agreement, read by the TUC chairman, Sola Adigun, it was agreed to that the consequential adjustment would be suspended for certain categories of workers for a period of three months (May to July).
For this same period, political appointees’ salaries will also be slashed by 25 per cent.
The agreement also included that the grant for the running of government office will be reduced.
The monthly meeting of the Economic Review Committee was mandated to convene five days after the meeting of the Federal Account Allocation Committee to keep workers abreast of the state’s financial position.
From now on, according to the agreement, 10 per cent of the Internally Generated Revenue, being the state responsibility to JAAC, will be released to the local governments.
The government also made a commitment not to downsize the workforce or retrench any worker as a result of the prevailing economic state.
Addressing a joint press conference with the Organised Labour on Friday in Ado Ekiti after the pact was signed, the Head of Service, Mrs. Olapeju Babafemi, said the agreement was the high point of interactions Governor Fayemi started on May 4 when he presented a State of the State address on the financial position and how to address the challenges posed.
Mrs. Babafemi commended the labour leaders for their sacrifice and understanding, expressing optimism that Ekiti will successfully navigate through the period of financial challenges.
She assured that the Fayemi administration, which it described as worker-friendly, would be faithful to the terms of the agreement reached with the workers to ensure a peaceful industrial climate in the state.
Speaking on behalf of Labour, the JNC chairman, Comrade Kayode Fatomiluyi, appreciated the political class in Ekiti for sacrificing 25 per cent of their monthly salaries and also hailed the government for making efforts that would not lead to retrenchment of workers.
“The labour leadership believes in dialogue and subjecting itself to arguments logically and scientifically and bowing to superior argument. We urge the government to adhere strictly to this agreement,” he said.