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Warning strike paralyses govt activities in Plateau

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Governmental activities have been paralysed in Plateau State following industrial action embarked upon by state civil servants over the inability of the government to meet their demands, including the non-payment of three months’ salaries and the non-release of third-party deductions, among others.

The Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) last Friday declared a five-day warning strike, which commenced on Monday, to press home their demands.

Addressing newsmen on Monday, the chairman of the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC), Comrade Titus L. Malau, said the warning strike that commenced on Monday was issued as a result of the government’s failure to meet their demands.

According to him, the strike became imperative in view of the fact that the government reneged on fulfilling the demands of the civil servants, particularly the agreement reached on November 11, 2022, with the intervention of the Secretary to the Government of the State (SGS).

“The demands of the JNPSNC are as follows: Nonpayment of salaries for 3 months from September 2022 to date; lack of release of salary structure to guide salary computation; non-release of third-party deduction from August 2022 to date; and non-release of promotion and annual increment with their respective arrearages in full.

“Others include: nonpayment of January and February 2022 annual increment arrears; the inability of the government to properly constitute and inaugurate the Joint National Service Negotiating Council in the state, among others.” Malau highlighted

On his part, the Plateau State Chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Eugene Manji, said the union had expected the government to have fulfilled the agreement on or before November 14, 2022, and the August salary was supposed to be paid in full and the September and October salaries also were to be paid on or before the end of November.

“Automatically, of all we have discussed and agreed on, nothing has been done.” That goes to say that they disrespected our agreement since even the August salary dropped in half. “So, we can start counting from August, September, October, and November, and ideally, we are equally qualified for December salary by now,” he disclosed.

Meanwhile, the State Government has expressed its commitment to the welfare of civil servants as demonstrated by the prompt payment of salaries over the years. Adding that the recent shortfall in the Federal Allocation experienced across the County resulted in the recent delay in payment of salaries, the State Government has been engaging labor and making efforts to settle the outstanding arrears.

The State Government, in a statement signed by the Head of Service, Engineer Sunday Hyat, pointed out that following the discussions with the office of the Accountant General, payment of August, third-party deductions, and the continuation of payment of September salaries will commence this week.

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