Labour cautions against slash in civil servants’ salary
The National President of ASCSN, Bobboi Bala Kaigama and the Secretary-General, Alade Bashir Lawal, in a statement explained that it is criminal for anybody or group of persons to contemplate cutting down the salaries of civil servants, “who are already underpaid in a country where the government has reneged in all its responsibilities to the citizenry”.
The union leaders said any attempt by the new government to reduce the salaries of workers will be viewed as an invitation for war by the labour movement, adding that “As we speak, many states owe civil servants bulk of monthly salaries and other rightful entitlements and yet, these workers are expected to come to work by magic, feed their families, stay healthy, pay children school fees and rent.
“It must be recognized that civil servants pay has lost its value since the last increment done in 2010. The subsidy removal, devaluation of the naira and the high rate of infrastructural decay has continued to rub innocent civil servants the value of their money despite being paid peanut,” said the union.
ASCSN explained that what is being contemplated as pay cut for political office holders cannot be extended to Civil Servants “because you cannot compare the two pay structures”.
According to ASCSN, while a Director in the Civil Service earn less than ₦353,996.94 monthly, a member of the National Assembly collects close to $181,973.75 or ₦40 million monthly.
ASCSN explained that earnings for National Assembly members is made up of basic salary, hardship allowance, constituency allowance, Newspaper allowance, wardrobe allowance, accommodation allowance, recess allowance and utilities.
Others include domestic staff, entertainment, personal assistant, leave allowance, vehicle maintenance allowance, car allowance, and severance package of 300 per cent of basic salary.
Calling for caution on the part of the Federal Government, the union said there is no basis to compare National Assembly members with civil servants. “While political office holder can make do with 75 per cent reduction in emolument, a one per cent cut in the salary of civil servants will just end up sending them to their untimely death through unwarranted hardships and miseries”.
The union added that civil servants expectations from the new government are very high after many years of unfulfilled promises by past administrations “which have left them undervalued”.
According to the union, if the government wants to truly deliver on its change promise, “the fact must be recognized that the existing pay structure of civil servants in Nigeria has failed to reward them fairly and the new government of President Muhammadu Buhari must acknowledge that genuine engagement with its workforce can only produce a better and more efficient Public Service which will bring about the change we all desire and require.
“This government now has a real opportunity to create a robust relationship with the civil servants and the best way to successfully deliver on his promises to Nigerians is to work with civil servants and not against them via salary cut.”