Staff of tertiary institutions in Plateau State demand salary increase.
The Plateau State Government said on Wednesday that it would not pay the increased salary being demanded by tertiary institution workers and would not hesitate to sack any staff that refuses to resume work.
The Commissioner for Information and Communication, Yiljap Abraham, who disclosed this also said government would not pay the workers for the period they have been on strike to press home demands for an increased pay.
The government insists it will be implementing the “no work no pay” Act of 2004. State Tertiary institutions in the state have been involved in an industrial dispute with the government for over a month; with the workers demanding for an increase in their salaries and payment of salaries owed them.
Mr. Abraham, while addressing journalists at the government lodge, Jishe in Jos, said it is not bound to increase the workers’ salary as a directive compelling the new salary structure is for federal institutions only.
“The directive to pay tertiary workers new salaries structures was from the national incomes, salaries and wages commission to the
national board for technical education – both of them federal government institutions. In fact, the circular was addressed to only
federal tertiary institutions because it was meant for implementation by federal institutions.”
Giving more reason as to why the government will not accede to the demands of the striking workers, the Plateau State spokesman said
“government has made its stance clear at the time. It is bound by the law; the trade disputes Acts 2004 which has not been repealed.
As a government which respects the rule of law, this administration’s position is in line with the law. Hence, this issue is currently
before the national industrial court for adjudication.
And it will serve the overall interest of both labour and government as well as strengthen industrial relations to have the court’s decision on this.”
“We want to assure our people that as a government, we have bound ourselves to fully comply with whatever the judgment of the court will be on this matter. So it then means that we cannot now make this a matter of discussion or negotiation as it is subjunctive,”
The Information Commissioner said the state government has directed the managements of all its tertiary institutions to open the
registrars in their respective institutions so that interested workers might resume work immediately. He warned that any staff that refuses to resume will be dismissed.
Plateau State is not new to having a face-off with its workers. Local Government workers in the state only recently called off a
strike that lasted about six-months to demand better working
conditions. The council workers called off the strike after the intervention of the Nigeria Labour Congress which forced the state
government to comply with their demands.