By Johnbosco Agbakwuru – Abuja
Non–teaching staff in the universities will today commence indefinite strike over the Federal Government’s handling of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, sharing formula of the N40 billion earned academic allowances and non-payment of arrears of the new minimum wage.
Already, the National Joint Action Committee, JAC, comprising the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities, SSANU and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU, has written to the branches to commence strike from Friday.
A copy of the notice signed by SSANU National President, Mohammed Ibrahim, and NASU General Secretary, Prince Peters Adeyemi, was sent to our correspondent on Thursday.
Recall that the JAC had announced that it would proceed on an indefinite strike from February 5 following the alleged failure of the Federal Government to meet its demands.
Other demands include the non-payment of retirement benefits to former members, non-constitution of visitation panels to universities, poor funding of universities, teaching staff usurping the headship of non-teaching units, among others.
In a bid to stop the workers from embarking on strike, the Federal Government team led by Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige met with the leadership of the unions but the meeting ended in a deadlock on Tuesday.
Following the inability of the government to avert the strike through the meeting, a committee was set up to resolve the dispute over the N40 billion earned allowances and complaints about IPPIS.
Part of the notice read: “In view of the outcome of the meeting, the leadership of JAC of NASU and SSANU at the branches are hereby directed to commence joint general meetings on Friday to give reports on the outcome of the conciliation meeting and pass resolutions on the way forward.
“In the meantime, the nationwide strike takes effect from 12 midnight, Friday, February 5, 2021, pending any contrary resolution by the branches.”
Vanguard gathered that out of the seven demands, only the issues of IPPIS and the payment of arrears of the minimum wage were discussed at the meeting.
The government had told the unions that there was no money to pay for the arrears of the minimum wage and that a supplementary budget would be submitted to raise the money.