Job quits when Kano cuts wages
Kano state officials said Wednesday they were bewildered by the unexplained pay cuts in November and December.
Some government officials said they were left with a minimum wage below the previous minimum wage of 18,000 N. State government officials denied a return to the old minimum wage, insisting that the deductions were only due to the prevailing recession in the country. caused by COVID-19.
The federal government has raised the minimum wage to 30,000 N in 2020, and some states have followed suit by adopting a raise based on the level of their workers.
Some government officials in Kano called the “cut” unfair, saying the administration led by Abdullahi Governor Umar Ganduja should not have deducted money from their November and December salaries when it issued N2.3. billion for local elections scheduled for January 16.
This is also due to the fact that many of them continue to raise questions about what the government is doing with the many funds it receives from various sources, including federal funding, domestic revenues and grants from donor agencies.
The Daily Trust reports that Kano state is not the only state in the country to change workers’ wages recently.
Most recently, the Niger state government announced that it can no longer pay 100% of the salary, as the Gombe state has stopped paying the minimum wage of 30,000 Niger since March 2020, citing the effect of the coronavirus pandemic. on the economy of the nation.
Salihu Tanko Yakasai, special media adviser to the Governor of Kano State, said Wednesday that “the state government has returned to its original minimum wage due to the recession. What we get now that the government has shrunk and we cannot afford to pay the minimum wage of US $ 30,000. “
Attempts to obtain clarifications from the head of the service, Binta Ahmed, were unsuccessful, as no calls were made to her number, and the text message sent to her was marked as delivered but did not respond, as at the time of publication. A Daily Trust reporter also came to her office in the Odu Bako secretariat and was told that she had not been in the office all day (Wednesday).
However, speaking to the Daily Trust, state information commissioner Malam Muhammad Garba said that this is not really about a return to the minimum wage of 18,000, but a cut due to the current economic situation in the country.
These contributions were found to have affected 55,505 key state civil servants as of December 31, 2020. This figure includes all government ministries, departments and agencies (MDA), including higher education institutions, but excluding Maitama Sule University and Kano State. University of Science and Technology, Udil. As it became known, this decision also affected all political persons appointed by the Governor of Ganduja.
Some of us received less than 18,000 N – civil servants.
All government officials who spoke to the Daily Trust were asked not to be named. One of them from the State Council for Working with Teachers said that they noticed a deduction from their salary in November 2020, and it was also repeated in December without any explanation.
He said that while there were rumors that the state government had returned the 18,000 N minimum wage, what was deducted from his salary in December was more than the accumulated N 30,000 minimum wage increase, and this means that what he received was also below the 18,000 minimum wage. He said that he found that he was not alone in the same fate.
Another source in one of the government ministries said that the undeclared withholding from the monthly wages of workers demoralized all civil servants in the state, adding that he did not blame the government, but the union, which decided to leave Mom in the matter. …
“The money was deducted from our salaries during the first wave of COVID-19 during the period of isolation, which we understand; but with this deduction, I accuse the union of being silent about development. We don’t know who to rely on, ”he said. complained.
A civil servant also told one of our reporters that the government sector is under what she called “Gatarin Ganduje” (Ax of Ganduje).
According to her, at the moment, no government official knows the exact amount of money that he will receive at the end of the month as a salary, and therefore cannot plan effectively.
When contacted, the president of the Nigerian Labor Congress (NLC) in the state, Comrade Kabiru Ado, said that it is the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC) that participates in the state negotiations, not the NLC “but the NLC is just a witness in the negotiations.”
According to him, “we have not received an official message from the government about the return to the old salary, disseminated by some media. Therefore, we will keep the signed agreement No. 30, 600, signed from December 2019 ”.
The chairman of the Joint Negotiating Council (JNC), chairman of the Kano State Trade Union Organization, Comrade Hashim Saleh, told the Daily Trust that there is no organized workforce and even when he contacted the government in December to stop the deductions, the government ignored them.
“In November 2020, they left without our knowledge and consent. They simply deducted the money, which is contrary to the wage structure agreement signed under the International Labor Organization (ILO) Convention. They did it without following due process, ”he said.
He said that the provisions of the ILO Convention are that if there is a problem with government revenues, the government should call a meeting with workers’ representatives “to sit down and bring all the books on spending and financial revenues.” Employee representatives will understand that there is indeed a revenue problem.
According to him, “After conducting a series of investigations, we (JNC) wrote a letter to the government to end the withholding and return the money already withheld. We have cited an authority to support this request. We sent a letter to the Governor through the Office of the Chief of Service. We have copied all relevant stakeholders.
“The government invited us in December. I, the chairman of the NLC, the chairman of the TUC and all stakeholders, even those who were not part of the JNC and the TUC, also attended the meeting. They (the government) told us that they have financial problems, and we told them that there are no financial problems yet.
At the time of our negotiations, the total federal government revenue was less than $ 600 billion, but in November 2020, FG split over $ 600 billion. Therefore, we did not agree with the position that there is no money.
“Even during the COVID-19 blockade, we agreed that all civil servants must pay 10% of their salaries, because there was a blockade, but in this case there is no blockade at all. The government also receives income from various businesses, including PAYE. Therefore, we were not satisfied with their position that the government had no money. And we didn’t even accept any deductions on the December salary.
“We told them we were going to continue the discussion with other colleagues, but before we got home, we found that (the government) had started paying salaries to local governments with deductions. So, the next day we wrote to them again and expressed our dissatisfaction, but they continued their conclusions, ”he added.
He told the crowd, chaired by the head of the service, that the local government official told them that the money LG received from the federation accounts was not enough to pay employees of LG and State Universal Basic. … Education Board (SUBEB).
“The Kano state government (at the meeting) never really announced that they had no money, but only the local government commissioner was the one who said there was no money. The Finance Commissioner, Special Functions Commissioner, ALGON President and Service Chief said nothing, ”he added. Comrade Sale said that about the next step that the unions have to take, (the unions) will meet next week and after the meeting their position will be made public.
“We are currently working underground to get the government back to normal wage payments in the state because what they are doing is illegal,” he added.
Because we deducted from the workers’ wages
Information Commissioner Malam Muhammad Garba told the Daily Trust that: “We didn’t go back, but the state government did what we got into a recession and the federal government’s allocation decreased. Domestic revenue fell sharply and along with COVID-19.
“So it was very difficult for us to set a minimum wage of 30,000 NIS. E. Therefore, instead of non-payment of wages, the government decided to reduce the wages of workers.
“This is actually a deduction, not that the government returned the minimum wage of NZ $ 18,000. Some (workers), based on deductions, will reflect NN 18,000 and some NN 19,000, but there are ways and means based on class level, this is how the Treasury and local government actually do on November and December salaries. “
He assured that by the time the country emerges from the recession, “and we will see an improvement in income, that the government is working hard, I want to assure you that we have already signed an agreement with workers on the minimum wage of 30,000 AD. , so no “It’s so that we can go back all the way and say we’re paying NZ $ 18,000. It’s true”.
As to why government officials were not informed of the decision to withhold their wages, the commissioner said he was not sure if the union had been contacted.
“I am sure that such a decision should be made with the union, but if this is not ultimately done, I am sure that the government will find a way to talk to the workers and I am sure that the workers will understand with the government. … “
He added that “in many states now even salaries are not paid. Some states have openly stated that they can only pay half of the salary, but in Kano, the governor said that “we have to pay the salary.” The only thing we need to do is to make deductions from wages, which I believe should be understood by civil servants. “
Source: – Daily Trust