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—Allege corruption in varsities
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
NON Academic Staff of Universities have direct members to proceed on a 14-day warning strike from Monday, October 5, over the inconsistencies of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS, non-payment of arrears of national minimum wage, non-payment of Earned Allowances among others.
Already, all the branches of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities, SSANU, have been directed to effectively mobilize and ensure total compliance.
SSANU in a statement issued by its President, Comrade Samson Ugwoke explained that the warning strike was a prelude to a full-blown, total and indefinite industrial action if their grievances were not addressed by the government.
Apart from the IPPIS problem, non-payment of arrears of national minimum wage and non-payment of Earned Allowances, the union is also aggrieved over non-payment of retirement benefits to retired members, lack of seriousness and delays by government in the renegotiation of the 2009 SSANU /Federal Government Agreement.
The union is also not happy over the alleged usurpation of headship of the non-teaching units by academic staff in clear violation of conditions of service and establishment procedures, corruption in the university system and non-constitution of Visitation Panels for the universities in line with the laws and neglect and poor funding of State universities.
According to the statement, “Following the recent directives from the National Universities Commission to Vice-Chancellors for the immediate resumption/safe reopening of Universities, you are hereby directed to commence a fourteen (14) day warning strike effective from 5th to 19th October 2020.”
Recall that the Joint Action Committee, JAC, comprising SSANU and the Non-Academic Staff Unions of Universities and Associated Institutions, NASU had earlier written to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige over the contentious issues and the intention to embark on strike immediately Universities reopened if the issues were not resolved.
The letters signed by the Chairman of JAC and President of SSANU, Comrade Ugwoke and the General Secretary of NASU, Comrade Peters Adeyemi told the Minister to act fast to avert the impending strike.
JAC in a letter on June 1, 2020, said, “The Honorable Minister is hereby notified of a growing agitation among our members in view of various issues highlighted above. In response to these agitations, tensions and anxiety among our members, you are hereby notified of an industrial dispute between the Joint Action Committee of NASU and SSANU and the Federal Government of Nigeria.
“Kindly be informed that failure to resolve the issues earlier stated above, JAC would be left with no option than to proceed on a 14-day warning strike effective from the date of resumption of work after the current lockdown. This would be followed by indefinite strike if there is no further remedy to the situation ”
Vanguard News Nigeria
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Source: Vanguard News.