Federal Education Workers Reject Contributory Pension Scheme

Employees of the Federal Ministry of Education and the 104 Federal Unity Colleges (FUCs) have rejected the contributory pension scheme (CPS) currently in use in the service, stating that it has brought untold hardship on retired civil servants.
Speaking under the umbrella of Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria (ASCSN), they argued that what they now receive as terminal benefits are not comparable to what they would have received under the old pension scheme.
They equally want the government to clearly and unambiguously restore gratuity in the payment of their entitlements.
The National Pension Commission, PenCom, the body regulating the CPS, as part of its recommendations to the National Assembly had proposed increasing the pension contribution to 20 percent.
The Commission had explained that the passage of the Bill by the National Assembly will help it address the challenges that it is being confronted with in the process of implementing the PRA 2004.
However, the public servants insist that the Federal Government revert to the old pension scheme in order to save workers from the agonizing experiences which they go through few years after retirement.
The association, at the end of its meeting held in Kano State also decried the non-payment of salaries to some officers in the federal ministry of education since July 2013 and called on the ministry of education to, as a matter of urgency, liaise with the ministry of finance and budget office with a view to clearing the backlog of unpaid salary before the end of February to avoid protracted crisis in the sector.
It equally stated that an ultimatum for an industrial action will be issued to the management of the Federal Ministry of Education should it fail to pay the 2007 to 2010 promotion arrears of officers.
The association noted with delight, the circular issued by the ministry of education directing principals of the Unity Schools to pay all outstanding arrears of first 28 days in lieu of hotel accommodation to affected officers since the schools are now self-accounting.
It urged principals of the colleges to clear all outstanding arrears in respect of the first 28 days allowance within the current calendar year to avoid industrial dispute that may arise as a result of non-payment.
“We equally frowned at a situation where no member of staff in the Federal Unity Colleges benefits from training fund that is released to the Ministry annually.  We therefore, called on the management of the Federal Ministry of Education to extend both local and international trainings to education officers in the Unity Schools to improve their knowledge and skills,” the association added.
It noted the efforts of the current leadership of the Trade Union Congress of Nigeria (TUC), in the area of delivering decent and affordable houses to workers and hailed the success story of the project in Katsina State.
The senior staff association also commended TUC housing project in Abuja and enjoined the leadership of the Congress to work tirelessly towards ensuring that the first set of houses are delivered to members in the shortest possible time.

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