New Salary Structure Anti-Junior Public Servants - Fashola

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LAGOS, August 16, (THEWILL) - Lagos State Government today described the Consolidated Salary Structures, which the federal government introduced in 2007, as a burden on the state governments and anathema to the public servants at the junior cadres.

Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) said this at the Ikeja House while inaugurating a 20-member committee on the development of pay policy, review and salary determination in Lagos State Public Service.

He added that the committee was imperative in order to avert any future industrial unrest that might arise. Fahola said, "We are concerned and deeply touched by the ways and means in which the activities of the federal government on salary administration and pay policy had consistently erupted agitations in some instances and resulted in industrial unrest from trade union."

He explained that the federal government "introduced the consolidated salary structures as part of its Public Service Reform Programme in 2007 when appointments into the junior cadres at the federal service was abrogated and such appointments are to be outsourced or included in the consolidated salaries."

"Lagos State then expressed strong reservation to the federal salary arrangement as most breadwinners, who belonged to the cadres being extricated i.e. drivers and cleaners among others in the public service would be thrown out of jobs if implemented. To date, we still offer pensionable appointment to drivers, cleaners and other categories of junior cadre staff in Lagos State Public Service.

"Also, the state still operates the harmonized salary structures where all components of allowances are clearly stated as opposed to the Consolidated Salary Structures. With the recent development, Lagos State is not unmindful of the likely agitation that might be in the pipeline; particularly from the professionals.

"In nipping envisaged reactions and averting any industrial unrest, it becomes imperative that we develop a holistic reward management system to benchmark on issues appertaining to salary determination, wage fixing and pay policy. This would be a collective bargaining and shall give credence to key economic, organizational and institutional variables," Fashola explained.

He thus said the 20-member committee headed by the Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pensions, Hon. Jide Sanwo-Olu would work with external consultant to come up recommendations within 34 working days, urging the members of the committee to fast-track the assignment with a view to meeting the set deadline and developing an enduring and acceptable salary structures.

Speaking at the forum, the state Head of Service, Prince Adesegun Ogunlewe, who is also a member of the committee, said the federal government did not carry along the 36 state governments and 774 local governments in the making of the consolidated salary structure.

Ogunlewe explained that the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission had been setting the benchmark for salary administration in the federal, state and local governments with salary structures known as the harmonized public salary structures and harmonized tertiary institution salary structures.

"Despite the introduction of the Consolidated Salary Structures at the federal level, all the 36 states of the federation still prefers the previous salary structures since it clearly spelt out the basic salary and all other allowances including job specific allowances. The recent development in the federal public service now makes it imperative to formulate a clear-cut policy and pay review mechanism."