Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) will commence their 14-day warning strike today.
In 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 fulfillment 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.”
The two unions said the warning strike could turn into full-blown industrial action if their grievances are not addressed by the federal government.
They listed their grievances to include, inconsistencies of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) in the payment of salaries of their 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 their members and non-payment of retirement benefits to outgone members.
The non-academic staff unions also alleged lack of seriousness and delays by the government in the renegotiation of the 2009 FG/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; and corruption in the university system.
They also cited non-constitution of visitation panels for the universities in line with the laws as other developments that are impacting negatively on their members.
“Please note that this warning strike is a prelude to a full-blown, total and indefinite industrial action if the grievances highlighted above are not properly addressed,” the unions warned.