Gives FG 2-weeks ultimatum to address issues
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
Non-teaching staff in the Universities, Friday announced that they will be proceeding on what they described as a total and comprehensive nationwide strike on 5th February 2021 following the inability of the Federal Government to address their concerns.
The non-teaching staff under the umbrella of Joint Action Committee, JAC, comprising the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU, and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities, SSANU also announced the immediate commencement of a two-week warning strike.
Recall that the unions have made series of attempts to draw attention to the Government over latent and growing industrial tension in the university system but all to no avail.
The two unions had last week embarked on a three-day protest over the alleged government failure to honour the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, signed with them on 20th October 2020.
Besides, the unions have lamented over the difficulties members were passing through as a result of enrollment in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS and the discrepancy in the sharing of the N40 billion Earned Allowances to the four university-based unions where the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU alone was allocated 75 percent of the total sum.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, JAC of the unions led by the National President of SSANU, Comrade Mohammed Ibrahim and General Secretary NASU, Prince Peters Adeyemi, said out of the seven issues under contention, only one was partially resolved.
They listed the issues which include inconsistencies in IPPIS payment, non-payment of Earned Allowances, non-payment of arrears of national minimum wage, delay in a renegotiation of FG/NASU and SSANU 2009 agreement, non-payment of retirement benefits of outgone members.
Other issues are; teaching staff usurping headship of non-teaching units in clear violation of conditions of service and establishment procedures, neglect and poor funding of state universities, and non-constitution of visitation panels for universities.
In the prepared text read by the NASU General Secretary, Prince Adeyemi, JAC said: “Out of the seven issues, only one has been partially resolved while the other six issues have not been attended to by the government, three months after the Memorandum of Understanding was signed.”
JAC noted that after the congress held at its branches nationwide, 90 percent of NASU members were in support of a strike and 10 percent stood against crippling activities in universities. While 83 percent of SSANU members were in support of embarking on strike, 11 percent were against the strike and six percent were indifferent.
“It is in line with the resolution of our members nationwide that the leadership of the joint action committee of NASU and SSANU hereby resolve as follows;
“That members of NASU and SSANU shall embark on an indefinite, comprehensive, and total strike with effect from midnight of Friday, 5th February 2021.
“That two weeks’ notice effective from today, Friday 22nd January 2021, is hereby given to the government and relevant stakeholders of this development.”