Kano govt, workers at loggerheads over salary reform

Photo credit: kanocommerce.com
Photo credit: kanocommerce.com

The Nigeria Labour Congress in Kano has warned the state government against carrying out a policy to redeploy some workers in the state and slash their salaries.

The state government had issued a circular to move non-professional cadre of workers from the health sector and tertiary institutions, a move that will remove the affected workers from the professional salary scheme.

The circular was issued through the state Head of Service, Auwalu Naiya, and Commissioner for Information, Muhammad Garba.

However, the labour union in a statement by the state Chairman, Kabiru Minjibir, and Secretary, Auwalu Yakasai, said the move would lead to animosity between civil servants and the state government.

“Our attention has been drawn to a letter written to the governor by the Commissioner for Information advising the government to review the salary of workers in health sector and tertiary institutions in the name of curtailing government expenditure and improving revenue generation,” the labour leaders said in a statement sent to PREMIUM TIMES.

“We are concerned that such anti-Labour proposal, which we view as fire from friendly quarters, is uncalled for at this critical time of economic recession, which (has) resulted in already reducing salary of workers by half by market forces”.

But Mr. Naiya has reacted to the NLC position with a statement that the new policy only deployed those affected to their rightful places.

He said an approval has been granted to deploy the workers to MDAs where their cadres belong “for proper human resource data records”.

He said the policy was to ensure transparency and equity, and was in line with reforms in salary administration in the state.

The Head of Service added that those affected are “administrative officers, executive officers, confidential secretaries, computer assistants and data processing assistants who were deployed from health sector” to his office.

But the NLC said the policy did not take into account the current hardship being experienced by workers and pensioners.

“We wonder how the sponsors of this ill-advised concept failed to realize that the salary being paid to the targeted group of workers is enshrined by various laws establishing the boards and institutions in which they were employed to work.

“We equally wonder why innocent workers would be victimized unnecessarily all in the name of generating revenue”.

The NLC then appealed to the governor to reverse the policy so as to avoid animosity and conflict between government and workers in the state.

The union commended the patience and maturity exhibited by affected workers on the issue and appealed to them to remain calm.

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