COVID -19: Union rejects 25% deduction of workers’ salaries by Kaduna State

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El-Rufai

The Joint Unions of Tertiary Institutions of Kaduna State (JUTIKS) has rejected the deduction of 25 per cent of workers’ salaries by the state government.

The union in a statement jointly signed by its Chairman, Mr Noah Danlami and the Secretary, Mr Jibril Makama in Kaduna on Wednesday, rejected the decision, describing it as an “illegal imposed levy”.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the state government had on April 26  announced its decision to embark on the monthly deduction of 25 per cent of workers salaries pending when the coronavirus pandemic will end.

The government particularly said that career public servants earning a net pay of N67,000 and above after tax deductions, would donate 25 per cent of their salaries monthly whilst the lockdown lasted.

The union recalled that labour unions in the state had offered five per cent of workers’ salaries as their contribution, a move that was rejected by the government, which made a u-turn and imposed a 25 per cent deduction of workers’ wages.

The group added that providing palliatives to cushion the effect of the COVID-19 lockdown on citizens was the responsibility of government that should not be shifted to workers, who have already been overburdened by responsibilities.

The union argued that while some states were considering an upward review of workers’ salaries as part of efforts to provide palliatives to the people, the Kaduna state government was imposing levy on workers.

It said that Kaduna state-owned tertiary institutions were still being paid 80 per cent of the obsolete CONTISS salary structure, as against the CONPCASS/CONTEDISS structure introduced 11 years ago.

“This made workers of Kaduna state tertiary institutions the least paid in the country, while still shouldering the responsibilities of not only their immediate and extended families but their neighbours as well.

“The government said that no public servant will have less than N50,000 monthly to manage in this emergency period. But this is not true as majority of workers are currently servicing different loans.

“The government is also aware that so many workers have acquired loans to purchase non-essential government houses.

“Such category of workers will be plunged into deep financial crisis as a result of the multiple deductions which are further complicated by the forceful deductions,” it said.

It appealed to the state government to immediately stop further implementation of the illegal levy, stressing that financial burden on members was already unbearable.

The union advised the government to explore other sources of funding instead of deducting from the meagre salaries of helpless civil servants of the state.

It added that rather than make deductions from workers salaries, the government should re-channel the funds being spent on ongoing road projects to fighting COVID-19.

NAN reports that the state government had explained that political appointees and public servants must contribute financially toward enabling the almost 10 million persons living in the state to survive the emergency period.

The government had directed all its senior appointees, including commissioners, permanent secretaries, special advisers, and heads of agencies to each donate N500,000 in April 2020 and subsequently,  donate 50 per cent of their salaries monthly until the quarantine ended.

Other categories of political appointees are equally expected to be making monthly donations to support the provision of relief to the low income, poor and vulnerable residents of the state. (NAN)

– Apr. 29, 2020 @ 16:25 GMT |

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