FG Calls For Sustained Industrial Harmony Through Collaboration

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* Photo: Representative of the HoSF, Dr. Comfort Adeosun addressing Council Members at the 2023 Meetings of the Separate and Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council in Nasarawa State.*

  • Photo L-R: Representative of the Governor of Nasarawa State,  Barr. Abigail Waya(4th), Representative of the HoSF, Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, CFR (3rd), Secretary of Joint Council TUS, Mr. Bomoi Ibraheem(2nd), Acting Director Employee and Industrial Relations, Mr. Nwachukwu Chibueze Dominic(1st), Permanent Secretary Est. Bauchi State, Alhaji Mohammed Sani Umar, Esq.(5th) and Permanent Secretary Bureau of Establishment and Training, Ogun State, Mrs. Fajounbo Bolaji Lydia at the 2023 Meetings of the Separate and Joint National Public Service Negotiating Council in Nasarawa State.*

By M. A.  Ahmed

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The Head of the Civil Service of the Federation (HoSF), Dr. Folasade Yemi-Esan, CFR, has stated that structured dialogue is necessary, at periodic intervals, for constructive engagement and warm interaction with stakeholders. This concerted interaction between both parties will promote cordial relationship between the employer and employee in the Public Service, which would further enhance and sustain industrial peace and harmony in the workplace.

“It is now time for all of us to continuously collaborate and embrace the principles of collective bargaining and mutual respect at all meetings, we are to embrace the tenets of integrity, merit, performance and transparency in the conduct of Government business, in consonance with the ethics of the Service, to avoid disputes and conflicts in the overall national interest,” she affirmed.

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The HoSF, who was represented by the Director Overseeing the Office of the Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare (SWO) in the OHCSF, Dr. Comfort Adeosun, disclosed this at the opening ceremony of the 2023 Separate and Joint Meetings of the National Public Service Negotiating Council, held from 30th January -1st February, 2024.

Dr.Yemi-Esan, CFR said that the theme for the Council Meetings, “Digitalization as an Effective and Efficient Tool for Service Delivery in the Public Service,” aimed at improving performance in the workplace,  is expedient as it highlights the importance of periodic review of operational systems in the Service for enhanced performance, as well as result-oriented practices, which promotes effectiveness and efficiency in service delivery to the Public.

She also stated that labour unions must continue to be at the forefront of policy drive “to accelerate the implementation of pillar six (6) of the Federal Civil Service Strategy and Implementation Plan 2021 – 2025 (FCSSIP 25), geared towards improving staff performance and welfare with prioritized initiatives to enhance value proposition for Civil Servants. She added that there is need to foster partnership between Government and the Trade Unions, towards the achievement of the various welfare programmes initiated by the OHCSF.”

Some of the welfare initiatives put in place by the Office, according to her, include the Federal Public Service Entrepreneurship Programme (FPSEP), Federal Civil Service Bus Scheme, Awards and Recognition Scheme and the Institutionalisation  of Performance Management System(PMS). She urged Council members to continuously collaborate and embrace the principles of collective bargaining and mutual respect at all fora.

Speaking earlier, the Chairman of Council/Permanent Secretary, Service Welfare Office, who also represented the HoSF, Dr.  Adeosun, appreciated the Governor of Nasarawa State, Engr. Abdullahi Sule for graciously accepting to declare the meeting open. “Your prompt acceptance is no doubt indicative of your passion and dedication to the continued growth and development of our dear nation and the overall progress of Public Servants and the Service, in general,” she added.

She also opined that labour, as a critical partner and reliable ally in the mission of providing better conditions of service for the entire workforce, must be persuaded to always make positive contributions that would assist the Government to realise its goals and objectives.

Dr. Adeosun, noted that the theme of the meeting is timely, as it aims at reawakening our consciousness to accepting that technology will continue to have a positive impact on governance in providing a more effective and robust avenue for driving processes towards achieving better results.

She stated further that over the years, the Meeting has consistently remained a veritable tool for bridging communication gaps between the Government and Organised Labour.

The event was declared open by His Excellency, the Executive Governor of Nasarawa State, represented by the Head of Service, Nasarawa State, Mrs. Abigail Waya.

In a goodwill message, the representative of the Chairman , JNPSNC (Trade Union Side), Comrade Boma Mohammed thanked the HoSF for convening the meeting.  He also appreciated the three (3) Councils for their unwavering support and patience in maintaining  peaceful industrial relations in the face of intractable challenges.

He maintained that the meeting is pertinent, as it is holding at a time when the National Minimum Wage is being reviewed. This calls for close collaboration between the tripartite partners to fast tract the process and come up with a living wage for Nigerian workers billed to come into effect in April, 2024. He also stressed that “this will go a long way in cushioning the effect of high inflation rate in the country as the so-called Take-Home pay no longer takes anybody anywhere.”

Comrade Mohammed also highlighted some germane issues bedevilling the system to include; late payment of salaries, increase in minimum wage, third party payment (IPPSIS), Observer status at the National Council on Establishments (NCE) Meetings, periodic meetings between the HoSF and the National leadership of NJPSNC (labour side),  putting JNPSNC on a budget line.

In his Closing Remarks, the Secretary of Council and Acting Director, Employee and Industrial Relations, Mr Dominic Nwachukwu thanked the Government of Nasarawa State for hosting the meeting for the second time in a row, also appreciated the HoSF for always looking out for the betterment of the workforce. He enjoyed Council Members to be open-minded as they consider and deliberate on new memoranda.

The eight (8) organized Trade Unions in the Public Service that constitute the NPSNC and JNPSNC as Trade Union Side (TUS) were further constituted into three National Public Service Negotiating Councils I, II and III.

COUNCIL I consists of the  Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), COUNCIL II, the Nigeria Civil Service Union (NCSU), Nigeria Union of Public Service Reportorial, Secretarial, Data Processor and Allied Workers (NUPSTRAW), while
COUNCIL III comprises of the Medical Health Workers Union of Nigeria (MHWUN), National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives (NANNM), Nigeria Union of Agriculture and Allied Employees (NUAAE),
Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations, Civil Service Technical and Recreational Services Employees (AUPCTRE) and the Nigeria Union of Printing, Publishing and Paper Products Workers (NUPPPPROW).

Memoranda deliberated upon at the just concluded meeting include;
COUNCIL 1:
Memorandum on the need for reactivation of payment of gratuity to Public Servants,
Memorandum on the demand for upward review of the National Minimum Wage,
Memorandum on the need to curtail the proliferation of Trade Unions in Nigeria,
Memorandum on the need to pay rent subsidy on a different schedule upfront, annually for Public Servants under the Consolidated Public Service Salary Structure (CONPSS);

COUNCIL II:
Memorandum seeking for the elongation of Executive Officer cadre for General Duties, Accounts/Audit/Cooperative Inspector/Stores/Revenue etc. in the Federal and State Public Services and

COUNCIL III;
Memorandum on the need for upward review of Uniform Allowances for Nurses and Midwives,
Memoranda on the need to provide Schemes of Service for Dental Surgery Technicians,
Dental Nurses and Anaesthetic Technicians.

Those referred to the Joint Council Meeting were Memoranda on the need to curtail the proliferation of Trade Unions in Nigeria,
the need for upward review of Uniform Allowances for Nurses and Midwives and the need to provide a Scheme of Service for Dental Surgery, Dental Nurse/Therapist/Hygienist and Anaesthetic Technicians, while one was referred to the National Council on Establishments on the need for upward review of Uniform Allowances for Nurses and Midwives from N20,000 to N150,000 per annum.

The National Public Service Negotiating Council is a collective bargaining instrument for consultation between the Government and the Organized Labour to address workers’ conditions of service, as well as their welfare.

M. A.  Ahmed,
Director, Communications
OFFICE OF THE HEAD OF THE CIVIL SERVICE OF THE FEDERATION
PRESS RELEASE

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