Sun. Apr 14th, 2024
Jude Johnson

The Chief Commissioner of the Federation, Hon. Abimbola Ayo-Yusuf, has moved to resolve the crisis at the Public Complaints Commission (PCC) with tensions escalating between Management and the Commission’s Labour Unions.

Ayo-Yusuf in a statement obtained by Global Sentinel on Monday, provided insights into the unfolding situation. He said the genesis of the conflict could be traced back to efforts to transition from the Consolidated Public Service Salary Structure (CONPSS) to the Consolidated Legislative Salary Structure (CONLESS). According to him, the approval for this transition was granted by the National Assembly, albeit contingent upon final endorsement from the National Salaries, Incomes, and Wages Commission (NSIWC).

Upon assuming office, Ayo-Yusuf said, he pursued NSIWC approval, which was ultimately secured effective from October 01, 2022. However, despite lacking budgetary allocations in the 2022 and 2023 Appropriation Acts, Labour Union Executives began demanding immediate implementation.

He stated that numerous conciliation meetings were convened, leading to Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment intervention. He however noted that despite commitments to advocate for enhanced budgetary allocations under the 2024 Appropriation Act, the approved budget fell short of fully implementing the CONLESS structure.

Subsequently, the Chief Commissioner said, a letter from the Joint Unions demanded full implementation of the approved CONLESS, triggering unrest. Management convened a meeting on January 23, 2024, offering a structured salary adjustment, which was met with hostility as Union Executives, along with a mob, unlawfully invaded Commission premises.

The statement noted that disruptive actions, characterised by illegal detainment and forced closure of Commission offices, prompted intervention from National Assembly Committee Chairmen overseeing the Commission. Ayo-Yusuf underscored the Commission’s independence in staff remuneration matters, emphasising ongoing efforts to establish an Ombudsman Salary Scale tailored to Commission staff.

In a bid to de-escalate tensions, he said the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment intervention was sought, with Chairmen of Senate and House Committees convening a meeting to address funding concerns.

Ayo-Yusuf stated that despite achievements under his leadership, including robust casework resolution and infrastructure development, the Labour Union’s insistence on unapproved salary structures remains a contentious issue.

The Chief Commissioner however, reiterated the Commission’s commitment to lawful resolution mechanisms and urged all stakeholders to uphold the rule of law.

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