The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) have threatened to embark on strike.

As COVID-19 forced tertiary institutions to close down, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had, in March, also embarked on an indefinite strike that the government sought to end.

According to NAN, the two unions said they would proceed on industrial action over unresolved issues with the federal government immediately the universities reopen.

Samson Ugwoke, chairman of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) for both unions, broke the news on Thursday while addressing journalists on the resolutions reached by NASU and SSANU.

The resolution, which was signed by Ugwoke, who doubles as SSANU’s national president, and Peters Adeyemi, NASU’s general-secretary, addressed the issues regarding salary and allowances.

Their grievances covered the protracted dispute with the government on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and non-payment of arrears of earned allowance and minimum wage.

Other issues include allegations of unseriousness by the Babalakin committee renegotiating the 2009 FG/NASU, SSANU agreements; poor funding of state varsities; absence of visitation panels.

According to Ugwoke, university workers are yet to earn their own share long after many other sectors had been paid the arrears of the national minimum wage and consequential adjustment.

“We find this development totally unwholesome and very unhealthy,” he said.

“Given the time lag of over a year, since it was implemented in other sectors, members of the public would agree that we have been patient enough in the university system.”

Pointing out that, despite a series of letters to the government’s IPPIS office since February, members of both unions were still confronted with many challenges regarding the payment of their salaries.

Ugwuoke also said members whose monthly salaries were being paid in the second week of the following month, over the past seven months, have been suffering the difficulties posed by IPPIS.

“Pay us the arrears of both earned allowances and minimum wage, among others,” said Ugokwe as he warned that both unions would have no option than to embark on strike when varsities reopen.

“We’ve again cried out to the general public with a view to inviting stakeholders and well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on the government to correct the anomaly of IPPIS.

“If by the time schools are asked to reopen and the needful is not done, it means hope is lost and the avoidable industrial conflict becomes inevitable. This is what we seek to avert.”



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