In a breakthrough development, the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) Trade Union Side, Plateau State Council, held a press release on the 14th of July, 2023, at the Conference Hall of the NLC Secretariat in Jos. The press release outlined the agreements reached between the council and the Plateau State Government, as well as the resolution of the ongoing labour impasse affecting both state and local government employees.
During a meeting held on the 28th of January, 2023, between the JNPSNC and the state government, several key agreements were reached. The government confirmed the payment of the remaining balance of salaries for the month of February 2023 and issued a circular directing all Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs) to implement promotions with immediate effect. Furthermore, the government completed the consolidation of the salary table for state civil servants, which was subsequently signed by both parties.
The press release which was jointly signed by the Chairman JNC, Comrade Titus L. Malau, and Comrade Timothy S. Gopep, Secretary of JNC also highlighted the progress made regarding the payment of salaries. The government prepared a salary spreadsheet for the month of March 2023, which included the arrears of Annual Increment for January and February 2022. This spreadsheet has been presented to the unions for review. The salaries for March 2023 were paid with specific conditions, including the physical verification of all civil servants and the establishment of a verification committee consisting of government and labour representatives.
Regarding the local government employees, a separate meeting was held between the JNPSNC and the Chairmen of the 17 Local Government Areas in Plateau State. In this meeting, several agreements were reached, including the payment of arrears of salaries once the government receives its subvention for the month of May 2023. The government also committed to restoring the payment of Domestic Staff Allowance to officers on Grade Levels 15 and 16 along with the June 2023 salary. Additionally, the government pledged to effect payments of promotions and Annual Increments starting from July 2023.
The press release further outlined additional agreements, such as the centralization of salary payments to assist weaker local governments, the determination and payment of outstanding 25% COVID-19 allowances applicable to health workers, and the suspension of the downgrading of two Grade Levels on retirement.
As a significant development, the JNPSNC announced the suspension of the indefinite strike action declared by the unions, effective from the 14th of July 2023. All workers in both the state and local governments were directed to resume work on Monday, the 17th of July 2023. The unions assured workers that there would be no victimization of those who participated in the strike action.
While the strike has been suspended, the union leadership will continue to monitor the resolution of challenges observed with the payment of the March 2023 salary. The press release concluded by expressing appreciation to members for their cooperation and resilience during the industrial action, emphasizing the commitment to address any remaining issues to ensure a smooth resumption of work.