Minimum Wage: Oyo Workers Jubilate As Makinde Signs Agreement To Commence Payment Of N30,000 Minimum Salary
By Henry Odeh
Oyo State Government and the Organised Labour on Wednesday reached an agreement on the N30,000 minimum wage passed into law by the Federal Government in 2019.
A statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, confirmed that the pact was reached following a meeting between the State government’s delegation and the organized Labour.
The new Minimum wage according to the agreement takes effect from January 2020.
Secretary to the Government of Oyo State (SSG), Mrs. Olubamiwo Adeosun, who chaired the State’s Minimum Wage Implementation Committee, broke the news of the pact reached between Labour and Oyo State Government on Wednesday evening.
She said: “We have just signed an agreement and the highlight of the agreement signed is that the least paid worker in Oyo State will earn over N30,000 monthly, in agreement with the minimum wage signed at the federal level.
“We also agreed with our colleagues on the table here on the consequential adjustment required as a result of that minimum wage, which has also been agreed and reached.”
She added: “We just reached a landmark point in the administration of Governor Seyi Makinde today. In the past few weeks, you would probably have been aware that we have been negotiating based on the agreement reached at the federal level on the minimum wage and the consequential adjustment for the workers in Oyo State.
“It has been a long process because we have had to look deeply into the books and all the factors required to ensure that even as we sign this agreement today, we get an agreement that is sustainable, agreeable and affordable for the Government and the people of Oyo State.
“So, I am happy to let all of us know that an agreement has been reached. It has been a lot of discussions, suggestions and innovative ideas on how we can move Oyo State to truly become the Pacesetter State that it is meant to be in the last few weeks.”
In their joint response to the new agreement, the organized Labour comprising of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) expressed satisfaction with the new agreement, noting that the details of the consequential adjustment appear a good starting point, given the resources available to the State.
The chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) in Oyo State, Comrade Bayo Titilola-Sodo, stated that the agreement reached, would see the least paid worker in the State earn N30,000 while the matter of consequential adjustment was agreed based on the financial strength of the State.
“We all looked at the books and what our State was generating monthly. The least paid worker in the State will earn N30,000 but what we regard as consequential adjustments, we cannot follow the model from the Federal Government, because we had to cut our coats according to our sizes,” he said.
He added that the agreement came after collective bargaining and due consideration for the resources available to the State to the best of workers’ knowledge, noting that Government had also promised to meet with the organized Labour every three months to consider the State’s resources.
Titilola-Sodo, who noted that the organized Labour has trust in the Governor to keep his words unlike the previous administration, which he said made similar promise but reneged, said: “I will say that we finally arrived at an agreement after series of meetings and collective bargaining. I will not say it is the best for the state but it is a good starting point, given the resources available to the state to the best of our knowledge.
“The implementation is immediate. The government has agreed to start the implementation even from January but it will be paid in full in February and the arrears for January will be paid with March salary.”
On whether the issue of consequential adjustment might cause disagreement among the workforce, Titilola-Sodo said: “But we also agreed that we would be looking at the books regarding the earnings of the State. There is another meeting coming up in the next three months and it is our belief that the Government of Governor Makinde will not be like the Government of some people, who promised that we would have this kind of meeting but reneged.
“So far, Governor Makinde has not made a promise to us and failed, so this gives us the confidence that we will all sit together with the government in the next three months to look at the situation of things. We will ensure that the agreement is not in vain.”