The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), yesterday, commenced their 14-day warning strike, as the non-academic staff of the University of Ibadan, also heeded the directive of the Joint Action Committee on commencement of the warning strike.
The strike, according to a letter dated September 28, 2020, jointly signed by the General Secretary of NASU, Mr Peters Adeyemi, and SSANU President, Mr Samson Ugwoke, and addressed to branch Chairmen of NASU and SSANU, the unions said the decision to embark on a 14-day warning strike was in fulfilment of their threat to begin the action as soon as the federal government directs universities to resume academic activities.
The letter read in part: “Kindly recall earlier information on the above subject matter wherein it was conveyed that the Joint Action Committee of NASU and SSANU would embark on a 14-day industrial action immediately universities resume following the COVID-19 lockdown.”
“Following the recent directives from the National Universities Commission (NUC) to Vice-Chancellors for the immediate resumption/safe reopening of universities, you are hereby directed to commence a 14-day warning strike effective from October 5 to 19, 2020.”
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The two unions said the warning strike could turn to a full-blown industrial action if their grievances are not addressed by the Federal Government.
The crux of the matter, according to the unions, are inconsistencies of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) in the payment of salaries of our members; non-payment of arrears of earned allowances being owed NASU and SSANU members despite various memoranda of understanding; non-payment of arrears of national minimum wage to our members and non-payment of retirement benefits to out gone members.
The letter noted that other issues are lack of seriousness and delays by the government in the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/NASU and SSANU agreements; usurpation of the headship of non-teaching units by academic staff in clear violation of conditions of service and establishment procedures; neglect and poor funding of state universities; corruption in the university system and non-constitution of visitation panels for the universities in line with the laws as other developments that are impacting negatively on their members.
It said the leadership of NASU and SSANU, has, therefore, directed all the branches of the NASU and SSANU to effectively mobilise and ensure total compliance to the strike.
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While speaking with journalists on the commencement of the warning strike, the NASU Chairman, University of Ibadan chapter, Malaki Etim, stated that the agitation was about the behaviour of the Federal Government that brought the issue of IPPIS to allow them to suffer.
According to him: “If you look into the system before we accepted it, it was truly tested to our favour. But immediately we joined the IPPIS, things changed, all our allowances were removed.”
He said they had earlier written a letter to the Federal Government, requesting for a meeting, but nothing has happened to that effect.
In his own remark, SSANU chairman, University of Ibadan chapter, Wale Akinremi, stated the 14 days warning strike was to press home some of their demands that have been lingering with the Federal Government for quite a while.
He said: “We give them 14 days to wait for them, to invite us for a discussion, otherwise, we were going to embark on a full-blown strike.”
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