FG, Varsity Workers’ Negotiations End in Deadlock
By Onyebuchi Ezigbo
The negotiations between the federal government and the Joint Action Committee comprising the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) ended in a deadlock yesterday.
However, a committee was set up to resolve the dispute over the N40 billion earned allowances and complaints about the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System.
This was agreed during a meeting held yesterday between the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige; SSANU National President, Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim and NASU General Secretary, Mr.Peters Adeyemi, in Abuja.
Speaking to journalists after the talks, Ngige described the meeting as fruitful and expressed the hope that the dialogue would encourage the unions to suspend their strike.
He said, “The deliberations were fruitful, government side responded to issues concerning IPPIS and what is being done to assist university workers, who have had some complaints in that direction, especially some of the allowances they said were chopped off by IPPIS system.
“We were satisfied that reasonable progress has been made. It’s a work in progress. We have put up a joint Committee of the Union, members of government side from Ministry of Education, Salary, Wages and Income Commission, Office of Accountant-General and the National University Commission to work hand-in-hand to make sure that all the anomalies that were complained are treated and we do hope that it will be done to the satisfaction of everybody.”
But the NASU General Secretary said the issues had not been concluded, adding that they asked for time to report back to their members.
He said, “We are favourably disposed to dialogue and after discussing with our members, we will come back and continue with the discussion. So far, nothing has been concluded.
“We don’t have the mandate to talk about suspending the strike. That’s not within our competence. The mandate of our members stands until they ask us to reverse it.”