National Assembly plenary resumption risks disruptions, as Parliament workers threatens strike

0

…Aggrieved over breach of Minimum Wage MoU, arrears of allowances

…Demand outstanding balance of minimum wage, year 2021 rent subsidy, others

By Moses Adeniyi

Sitting for plenary in the National Assembly (NASS) may be faced with threats of disruptions and picketing in the coming week as fresh threats by staffers of the Parliament have emerged over breach in the implementation of the approved minimum wage and non payment of allowances.

Nigerian NewsDirect gathered that workers attached to the National Assembly under the aegis of the Parliament Staff Association of Nigeria (PASAN) on Thursday announced their intention to embark on an industrial strike by Monday next week over payment default of no less than eight months national minimum wage and 15 months CONPECULIAR allowances – a development that threatens plenary in the National Assembly.

In a demonstration to protest the breach on Thursday, the workers led by the Chairman of PASAN National Assembly chapter, Sunday Sabiyi and the Vice Chairman of National Assembly Service Commission (NASC), M. A., Liman slated Monday, 10th January, 2022 for commencement of the industrial action.

To avert the intended strike, the joint body have demanded an immediate effect of payment of five months outstanding balance of minimum wage, year 2021 rent subsidy, 15 months arrears of CONPECULIAR allowances, six months arrears of hazard allowance to National Assembly staff.

Others include demand for the “implementation of 50 per cent balance of CONLESS, immediate release of year 2022 training template for staff and evidence of provision of gratuity for retiring staff.”

The aggrieved body mentioned it has also sent the communiqué dated 6th January, 2022 issued after the joint emergency congress of NASS/NASC to the Senate President, Senator Ahmad Lawan; Speaker, House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabimila; Chairman, National Assembly Service Commission (NASC), Engr. Ahmed Mashi; Director of Department of State Service (DSS); Divisional Police Officer (DPO) at the National Assembly and Head of Sergeant-at-Arms.

In the two-page communiqué, the workers accused the National Assembly management of “breach of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) entered with PASAN on the 13th of April, 2021 on the full implementation of the new national minimum wage Act 2019 and the Revised condition of service.”

“Congress hereby observes the following: Breach of MOU by the decision of the management not to honour it as at 31st December 2021, being the fourth quarter of 2021.

“In view of the resolutions, Congress resolves to embark on industrial action, commencing with mass picketing from Monday, 10th January, 2022 in protest of the breach of the MOU,” the body mentioned.

Following the contraventions, the NASC/NASS joint emergency congress resolved: “That management should pay with immediate effect 5 months outstanding balance of minimum wage, year 2021 rent subsidy, 15 months arrears of CONPECULIAR allowances, 6 months arrears of hazard allowance to National Assembly staff.

“In addition to the MOU, Congress also demands the implementation of 50 per cent balance of CONLESS, immediate release of year 2022 training template for staff and evidence of provision of gratuity for retiring staff.

“Whereas management had earlier identified the supplementary budget 2021 as one amongst various sources of funding the MOU, congress is amazed that suddenly the Supplementary budget and virement of the 2021 fiscal appropriation have become the source of funding items not captured in the MOU including end of year bonus and promotion arrears.”

Recall that both the Senate and the House of Representatives had upon passing the 2022 budget in December adjourned plenary till January 18, 2022, for the Christmas break and New year. The expected resumption date would be a week from the commencement of the industrial action, should the strike commence as intended on Monday next week.