NiMET to Commence Strike on Monday Over Unpaid Arrears

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NiMet CEO, Professor Charles Anosike.

Aviation unions, including the National Union of Air Transport Employees, the Association of Nigerian Aviation Professionals, and the Amalgamated Union of Public Corporations and Technical and Recreational Employees, have directed staff at the Nigeria Meteorological Agency (NiMET) to commence a strike on Monday, May 20, 2024.

This directive was outlined in a letter dated May 14, 2024, which was obtained by our correspondent on Wednesday.

The strike is a response to the management’s failure to address 45 months’ worth of unpaid minimum wage arrears and consequential adjustments for staff members.

The union, represented by General Secretaries Ocheme Aba, Abdulrasaq Seidu, and Waheed Sikiru, addressed their grievances in a letter to NiMET’s Director General, Prof. Charles Anosike. The letter, titled ‘Re: Failure to Pay 45-Month Arrears of Minimum Wage Consequential Adjustment—14 Days Ultimatum,’ emphasized their growing frustration.

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The ultimatum had been previously issued, and management responded with a compromise to pay the arrears in installments. However, the unions expressed disappointment over the prolonged wait for the palliative payments sanctioned by the Federal Government since October 2023. Additionally, they highlighted the non-implementation of the 25-35 percent salary increase and NiMET’s exclusion from receiving Peculiar Allowances.

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The letter also noted, “Furthermore, our unions, through a joint letter dated April 4, 2024, requested a review of the outdated conditions of service. To date, the management has not responded to our unions.”

It continued, “The above catalogue of woes, and others unmentioned, confirm that NiMET staff have been consigned to the limbo of abject poverty – worse than any existing aviation establishment. In our view, it is inhuman on the part of management to tolerate these conditions and irresponsible on the part of unions to allow this situation to persist for so long.”

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The unions declared that unless the outstanding 45 months’ arrears of consequential adjustment are fully paid, NiMET staff would withdraw all services starting Monday, May 20, 2024. They also demanded that the NiMET salary structure be adapted to an appropriate Federal Government-approved structure and all due payments be liquidated. Moreover, they called for the commencement of the review of outdated conditions of service with a definite timeline for implementation.

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The unions’ firm stance reflects a broader frustration within the aviation sector, emphasizing the urgent need for management to address these longstanding issues to avoid further disruptions.

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