Following a long ranging trade dispute between the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and two aviation unions comprising Air Transport Services Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (ATSSSAN) and National Union of Air Transport Employees (NUATE), the unions have vowed to declare a state of emergency in the agency by January 2nd next year, if their demands for staff promotion are not met.
The unions disclosed their plans at the weekend in Lagos, claiming that the management of NCAA has taken them for granted with regards to the issues of promotion of NCAA staff.
Speaking on the issue, Comrade Lucky Izebhokun Chairman Joint Action Committee, NCAA and chairman NUATE, NCAA branch made it clear that NCAA management would be looking for trouble if they do not promote the staff of NCAA by the end of this year.
Comrade Izebhokun who hinted that the anxiety was so high while a lot of people have been highly discouraged in the system, said that there was the possibility that the aggrieved workers would pour out their mind on January 2, 2019.
Izebhokun said “now the Management has so much relegated the staff of NCAA so much so that they will be employing, doing secondment and transfer of people from other organizations to come and boss us. We have had issues with people being transferred from NAMA especially. Because there is no promotion in NCAA, you will see now bossing the people in NCAA. We have told Management that we can no longer accept that”.
“We wrote them. We have to do due diligence. We wrote them and told them that within the next three weeks if you do not give our people promotion, we are talking about promotion from level 14 to 15 and 16. That is senior management cadre. If you don’t promote them, there will be serious issues”, the union leader added.
He said if the union fails to curtail the excesses for this senior cadre, it will start spiraling down to the lower cadre, and time may come when there will be no vacancy for levels 12, 13.
Stating that the union had written NCAA management on the issue without any response, Izebhokun queried how other parastatals in the aviation industry were getting their promotion, just as he suggested to NCAA staff to pass a vote of no confidence on the leadership of NCAA come 2nd of January 2019.
On his own part, Comrade Ayodele Sofolayan, Chairman, ATSSSAN NCAA branch confirmed that the issue of staff promotion in NCAA was already generating a lot of anxiety and that the issue had been delayed for long.
How do we go about this state of emergency? We have discussed with a lot of people but what we are going to do now is we have to force Management to conduct promotion exam without the Organogram. That’s what we will do”, Sofola said.
He lamented that a letter of ultimatum was given to the NCAA management to follow it up in Abuja but up till now, the unions have not seen any result while the ultimatum had elapsed on the 21st of December.
In his reaction, Sam Adurogboye, General Manager, Public Relations of NCAA said NCAA was known for industrial harmony and that management and the unions have always been on the same page,
According to him, he believes that both parties will reach a compromise very soon because from 2000 till date, unions and management always sit down together and discuss.
Adurogboye said “The good thing about NCAA management is that they appreciate the human resource. We do not award contract, no capital project. The capital project of NCAA is the human resource. So we spend about 70% of our budget annually on human resource. So if for once they are raising an issue, I believe they will resolve it as we have always done. To me, it’s not a threat. They will definitely sit at a point and reach a conclusion”.
On why the management allowed the promotion to take this long, Adurogboye said “this issue arose from change also, because promotion in NCAA even public service generally used to be automatic thing sort off. Three years, you are automatically promoted until the management felt No. Lets do some innovation. Let people sit for exams. Let them pass. Lt them justify that they can cope with the next stage. Apart from that, its not automatic. Also, let there be a vacancy. For example, if you are moving people to the next stage, is there vacancy? All these are in black and white. So if there is vacancy and you did not promote people, it is a different thing and if you have about 10 people that are due for promotion, maybe to a GM level or a DGM level and we only have two DGM office there. So, how do you promote people there? So, there has to be vacancy. Ii is not that its automatic. It’s stated in the condition of service too. So, these are the issues that they will sit down and discuss. It’s not a question of maybe pay, pay is not an issue now but again, its also an issue”.
“If you are promoting people, you calculate what it will cost you. Meanwhile NCAA is not a revenue generating agency. Its only cost recovering and its is the passenger. The more people fly, the more we have 5% and this 5% is not only going to NCAA other agencies are sharing in it as spelt out in the civil aviation Act. So whatever comes, if it goes up, we have more and will be able to take care of the anticipated increase. So for me, I believe that the management will definitely sit down and discuss because we don’t have any other thing we rely on apart from our human resource and NCAA staffers have been carried along to the point that they know what is coming in”, the GM said.