Posted by admin on September 8, 2021
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The marathon meeting hosted by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, began at 4pm and ended around past 9pm, with an understanding reached by both the FG and the unions.
JOHESU had last week issued a 15-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to meet their demands or face strik .
But, briefing journalists after the meeting, Ngige said they held fruitful discussions, assuring that the Memorandum of Understanding would be signed next week.
According to a statement by the Mnistry of Labour and Employment spokesman, Charles Akpan, titled, ‘FG,JOHESU reach truce, ‘ the minister explained that the parties reached an understanding on all the issues in dispute, including the enhancement of hazard allowance, review of retirement age from 60 to 65 years, the arrears of the consequential adjustment of the national minimum wage and upward adjustment of Consolidated Health Salary Structure.
On the hazard allowance, Ngige recalled that the government held four meetings earlier with JOHESU and NMA alongside their affiliates, but at a point there were areas of departure.
He noted that NMA and a union hitherto thought to be part of JOHESU, demanded the compartmentaliasation of the discussions on the hazard allowance, which the government granted.
He noted, “Based on previous discussion, we delivered to them (JOHESU) the financial implication of what is due to them and they promised to get back to their members and report back to us. On the other hand, government is meeting with NMA next week for their separate discussion on hazard allowance. Already the Federal Government has budgeted the sum of N37.5bn for this.
“The issue was resolved to the satisfaction of all of us. Government is not delaying the hazard allowance as some people want the public to believe.”
On the demand for upward review of retirement age from 60 to 65 years, the statement said, “The matter has already been handled by the Office of the Head of Service of the Federation which has in turn transmitted same to the National Council on Establishment for further processing at its meeting in December 2021.
“Ngige said the meeting agreed that the issues of non-implementation of allowances contained in the 2017 agreement, such as consequential minimum wage adjustment and skipping would be taken holistically.”
Ngige added that JOHESU would meet with the Federal Ministry of Health on Thursday to draw up a framework for all the discussions.
Responding, the President of JOHESU, Josiah Biobelemonye, noted that “strike is not the way to go,” and expressed optimism that all issues raised by the unions would be positively attended to.
Others at the meeting from the Government side include the Minister of Health, Dr Osagie Ehanire, Ministers of State, Olurunimbe Mamora (Health) and Festus Keyamo (Labour and Employment), Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Peter Tarfa, and his Health counterpart, Director General, Budget Office, Ben Akabueze and Chairman, National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission, Ekpo Nta.
Also in attendance were representatives of the Account General of the Federation, the Head of Service of the Federation and IPPIS.
Source:- Punch Ng
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