Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions has issued a 14-day ultimatum to the federal government to address anomalies in the nation’s Research Institutes and Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System.
The union’s president, Dr Makolo Hassan, in a statement, following its National Executive Council yesterday, said the union was warming up for a total shut down.
According to him, NASU is an arm of the Joint Health Sector Unions.
“For almost 10 years, the government has failed to honour the content of the agreement it freely entered into with the Joint Research and Allied Institutions Sector Unions as contained in the year 2010 JORAISU/FGN Agreement.
“The underlisted issues include payment of 12 months arrears of 53.37 per cent salary increase, peculiar allowances and earned allowances.
“Also, the retirement age of 65 years for Non-Research staff as obtainable in the universities, withdrawal of circular on non-skipping of Salary Grade Level 10, that is the National Industrial Court’s judgment delivered in favour of the trade unions.
“Others include the establishment of a central body to be known as National Research Institutes Commission, adequate funding of Research Institutes and release of conditions of service,” he said. The union leader said the government had yet to address the issues in spite of several reminders, strikes and Memorandum of Understanding entered into with the government on the matter.
Hassan said: “We, therefore, use the opportunity of this meeting to request the government to act speedily, particularly on the issue of the 12 months arrears.
“Except some concrete steps are taken within the next 14 days, NASU members in all the research institutes in Nigeria will be compelled to commence strike to press home their demand in this regard,” he said.
The union leader also said that the government had not lived to its promise of a hitch-free migration on the IPPIS.
According to him, IPPIS has demonstrated a high level of incompetence and inefficiency.
He said that the union’s experience since it migrated to the platform had been a painful one.
“All efforts to get government and the office of the Accountant General of the Federation to redress the noticeable shortcomings has not yielded a positive result.
“The noticeable shortcomings include non-payment of salaries to some staff, underpayment of salaries, non-payment of approved allowances as contained in the year 2009 FGN/NASU Agreement as well as failure to pay check-off dues to the union as and when due.
“Others are nonpayment of promotion arrears, non-deduction of welfare scheme, high taxation, non-release of payslips to workers, delay in payment of salaries and non-release of schedule of payments made.
“In the face of these challenges and the lukewarm attitude of the government and IPPIS office toward redressing these shortcomings, NASU may have no choice than to embark, as soon as possible, on a full-blown strike in the universities and inter-universities centres.
“Also, in polytechnics and colleges of education, except something is done very urgently to positively remedy the situation,’’ Hassan said.