The Nigerian Meteorological Agency (NIMET) management has insisted that there is no justification for the threat of going on strike by a joint union of workers.
The Association of Nigeria Aviation Professionals and the National Union of Air Transport Employees has threatened to embark on strike.
NIMET in reaction revealed that most of the claimed issues by the union have been either addressed or currently being attended to and the strike would rather distract the agency’s attention in pursuing these noble goals.
The disclosure was made in a statement obtained by Transport Day and signed by the Director, Public Affairs in the Ministry of Aviation, James Odaudu.
According to him, NIMET Management has communicated with the Union body in a letter sent by the Director-General, Professor Sani Mashi.
The DG recalled the resolutions reached in March 2019 by the Ministerial Committee on the Harmonization of Salaries of Staff in Aviation Agencies which the unions were well represented.
According to him, the salary adjustment for NIMET staff was discussed and resolved at the Committee and the Ministry of Aviation has presented it for further action to the National Salaries, Wages and Income Commission.
The Ministry was exclusively charged with the task of handling the matter with the commission.
The NIMET DG also disclosed that on the issue of the payment of promotion arrears, the Unions should know that it is the Office of the Account General of the Federation that is responsible for the payment of this arrears and that the Management of the Agency has been consistently pursuing the matter with the Account-General’s Office through contacts with the relevant Departments.
The Management further stated that on the issue of palliative “Agency’s Department of Accounts & Finance have computed and paid monetary compensation to all Staff on essential duty.
As at last week, only one (1) week palliative was in arrears and this also has been settled this week”.
He said, “On the issue of lateral conversion, the management wishes to state that it is not true that the Agency is “denying lateral conversion to staff on professional cadres who graduated after attaining grade level 10…,” as posited by your Unions.
However, in 2016 when the Agency’s Senior Staff Committee recommended for the lateral conversion of Officers on Salary Grade Level 10 and above, the Ministry of Aviation stepped it down on the ground that the Agency’s practice contravenes Extant Rules and Regulations”.
“In giving importance to training of staff, the management in 2019 developed a guideline to standardize and formalize requests for study leaves for diploma, undergraduate, postgraduate diploma and postgraduate programmes. As a matter of policy and practice the issues of training and retraining of staff have been taken seriously”.
The Management wishes to categorically state that it has been doing all within its power to positively ameliorate all the sundry issues raised by the Staff and all the Unions in the Agency; as also management committed and dedicated to the promotion of Staff Welfare & Development, including securing what rightfully belongs to them.
In so doing, however, the Agency is compelled to strictly adhere to Government policies, as well as Extant Rules and Regulations.
The agency, however, recognizes and respect the Constitutional provision for the freedom of association of the citizen of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and enjoins the Unions to equally respect the sanctity of the Law of the Federal Republic on Nigeria.
The NIMET Management, therefore, call on all the staff, in consideration of the Rule of Law, to immediately discontinue the call for the strike.