Plateau teachers protest over minimum wage, half salaries

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Business and governmental activities were disrupted in Jos capital of Plateau State, on Thursday, as local government workers and the state chapter of the Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) embarked on protest over the payment of half salaries and unfulfilled promise of the N30,000 new minimum wage.

The local government workers and NUT members clad in black attire trooped out in their large number and blocked major roads including the flyover at the State Secretariat junction denouncing the state government for non-implementation of the new minimum wage.

While a cross-section of the protesters occupied major roads, others marched along streets calling on Governor Simon Lalong to honour his words.

Protests were reportedly held simultaneous also in all the 17 local government areas of the state over the issue.

In his reaction, the State Chairman Joint Public Service Negotiating Council, James Diwa, told newsmen that the workers were not happy because Governor Simon Lalong has not implemented the N30,000 minimum wage for LG workers.

The chairman said, “The problem has to do with the implementation of the new minimum wage in the state. When the government started to pay the state workers with the new minimum wage, we advised them to also extend the same to the Council workers but it is clear that our advice was not taken.”

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Meanwhile, the Joint Public Service Negotiating Team, Plateau State Trade Union, James Diwa, has appealed to Local Government Workers in the state currently protesting non-implementation of the new minimum wage to suspend all forms of protests.

The appeal, according to the chairman was as a result of a meeting between Government and Labour, on Monday, which led to setting up of a technical committee to ascertain the inflow and outflow of cash of all the Local Governments in the State and make appropriate recommendations for the implementation of the new minimum wage.

A statement signed by the chairman and a copy made available on Wednesday, reads; “You are aware that the seven days ultimatum issued government to implement the minimum wage to Local Government Workers ended yesterday.

“However, a meeting between government and labour on Monday, November 30, 2020, set up a Technical Committee to ascertain the inflow/outflow of each of the 17 LGCs and make appropriate recommendations that will accommodate the payment of the minimum wage to local government workers. “While we share in the hardship workers are passing through in the face of harsh economic realities, we appeal to workers to be calm and suspend all forms of protests for now while the technical committee intensifies effort at completing its assignment to pave a way for the implementation of the new minimum wage to all the local government workers within the shortest possible time.”

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