N18, 000 minimum wage far below UN average – AUCPTRE

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Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Employees (AUPCTRE) says that the current N18,000 minimum for Nigerian workers falls below recommended UN standard.

AUPCTRE conveyed this concern in a draft resolution adopted at the end of its 6th Quadrennial National Delegates’ Conference (NDC) in Ibadan and made available the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday in Abuja.

The draft resolution was co-signed by AUPCTRE’s National President, Mr Benjamin Anthony and its Secretary-General, Mr Yusuf Zambuk.

“The NDC-in-Session noted that the current minimum wage of N18, 000 is grossly insufficient as it could no longer meet the essential needs of the Nigerian workers.

“The conference acknowledged the fact that the current minimum wage of N18, 000 is far less than the minimum UN recommendation of two dollar per day for an average family.

“In addition, the conference observed that the five years life span of the current minimum wage has expired since 2015 and therefore, rendered the current minimum wage irrelevant in view of the current economic reality.

“The Nigeria Labour Congress should vigorously pursue and ensure urgent conclusion of and approval of a new minimum wage by the Federal Government and its subsequent passage into law by the National Assembly.’’

AUPCTRE, in the resolution, decried the delay in the removal of the dichotomy and ceiling on the careers progression between HND holders and university degree holders beyond salary grade level 14.

According to the union, the subjection of government white paper on the subject matter to further discussion and approval by the National Council of Establishment is unethical.

The union called on the Federal Government to give directives for the implementation of its white paper on the issue without further delay.

“Appropriate implementation circular that will enable HND holders to rise beyond salary grade level 14 should be issued urgently.’’

AUPCTRE condemned continued casualisation of workers in Nigeria contrary to International Labour Organisation (ILO) conventions and AU resolutions that guarantee workers full employment after six months of casual employment.

The union also called for the restoration of gratuity payment in the public services.

“The old defined benefit scheme was replaced by the 2004 Contributory Pension Act which has been further amended in 2014.

“Regrettably, several federal MDAs and state governments that have joined the scheme are in the habit of deliberately withholding pension deductions against the provisions of the Pension Act.

“The union will collaborate with NLC to explore the possibility of legal action against erring employers particularly in the public services.

“Labour should explore every lawful means to prevail on federal and state governments to restore the payment of gratuity in public services.’’

AUPCTRE, in the resolution, expressed its displeasure at the deteriorating condition on working environment as well as the non-provision of working tools in the public sector.