Universities Non-academic Staff Begin Nationwide Protest Monday 

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  • Demand payment of N30bn earned allowance  

By Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

 The Joint Action Committee, (JAC) of the non-teaching staff in the universities, has asked all its branches nationwide to embark on a 3-day protest starting on Monday. 

The university workers said their protest was to serve as a warning over an impending industrial action over the federal government alleged discriminatory attitude of government against non-teaching staff.

Apart from the complaint over the way government disbursed money meant for earned allowances, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU),  said they were protesting against the refusal to recall sacked workers of Staff Schools in some of the institutions.

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) comprising leadership of non-teaching staff unions, at its meeting in Abuja on Friday, also decried exclusion of its members from the workings of the National University Pension Company (NUPENCO) solely operated by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). 

It further frowned at the alleged preferential treatment extended to ASUU by the federal government as seen in the allocation of 80 per cent of monies released leaving the non-academic staff with 20 per cent.

In a resolution reached after its meeting, read by the Chairman of JAC and National President of SSANU, Comrade Samson Ugwoke, the non-teaching university workers rejected the 20 per cent Earned Allowance allocated to the three non-teaching unions. 

It called on the federal government to as a matter of urgency release N30 billion being Earned Allowance of non-teaching staff within the period of 2009 to 2016.

“JAC has approved protests from the branches, protests at the zonal levels of our unions and mother of all protests in Abuja for three days, before a deadline is given to the government for the mother of all strikes that will follow. The protest will commence on Monday 15th July 2019,” he said

Ugwoke said the three-day protest was to serve as a notice of strike to the federal government. 

He urged the members to ensure full compliance with the directive in order to show its relevance to the university system. 

He said, “The recent sharing of money where the money collected from the Ministry of Education signed by the director of tertiary education, allocating 80 per cent of the money to ASUU and only 20 per cent to the three non-teaching staff unions is not acceptable to us.

“We reject in total the 20 per cent allocated to our members, rather we demand from the federal government the sum of N30 billion as part of the earned allowance of non-teaching staff from 2009 to 2016 and we call on government to hasten the audit of university earned allowances so that we will know how much is paid to who and how much remains.

“The way and manner the money is being shared contrary to any known accounting procedure, any known international best practice should be condemned by all, it is rather a fraud. This house calls it a fraud and calls for investigation. We call and demand that government should release as a matter of urgency, N30 billion for non-teaching staff,” he said.