Organised Labour has commended the Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HOS), Ms Winifred Oyo-Ita, for keying into the demand of unions for salary increase in the core civil service.
The commendation came on the heels of a statement credited to the HOS at a workshop on the 2017-2020 Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan (FCSSIP), in Abuja.
The HOS recently said that the emoluments of 80,000 civil servants who were the engine room of government should be increased since, currently, they are the least paid in the public service.
The Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), in a press statement jointly signed by the national president, Comrade Bobboi Bala Kaigama, and the secretary-general, Comrade Alade Bashir Lawal, recalled that, in 2015, the union presented a memorandum to the Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council (JNPSNC) and demanded for an upward salary review for core civil servants, since they are the least paid in the public service.
“Our demand was predicated on the fact that the current pay structure in operation in the civil service has become unrealistic and inadequate such that workers can no longer meet their basic needs, a scenario that is impacting negatively on their morale.
“Besides, out of more than 12 different salary structures in the public service, that of the core civil service is the lowest even though the bulk of government work is carried out by civil servants,” the union said.
The ASCSN expressed the hope that the statement of the HOS would galvanised the government to do the needful by beefing up the salaries of civil servants to be at par with that of other segments of the public service.
“There must be equal pay for job of equal value more so because the employees concerned have similar or the same qualifications,” the union emphasised.
According to the ASCSN, the last salary adjustment in the civil service was done in 2010 and, since then, no salary increase has been granted to civil servants even though the cost of living has continued to rise because of spiral inflation.
It urged government to see the wake-up call of the HOS as an opportunity to right the wrong done to civil servants in the past decades by paying them remunerations that are obtainable in other segments of the public service.
The union urged government to enter into negotiation with trade unions in the civil service immediately in respect of their demand for salary increase.