From: Ali Abare, Gombe
Members of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) of the Federal University Kashere, in Gombe State, have written a petition to the national secretariat of the union, accusing the university management of high-handedness.
Rising from its congress meeting held on August 7, NASU, in a statement issued to journalists, on Monday, listed various grievances against the management of the institution.
In the statement jointly signed by Comrades Muktar Abubakar and Sa’idu Abubakar, members of the association accused the management of withdrawing buses conveying staff to work from Gombe, a distance of about 70km which they said compounds the problems of workers.
They also accused the management of denying NASU members approval for study leave to enable them pursue higher education as well as refusing to grant approval for staff that applied for part-time programmes in other institutions.
NASU alleged that the university management removed sundry allowances earlier approved by the governing council of the institution covered by an agreement reached in 2009 that include hazard, call duty and overtime allowances.
The union went on to say that in view of the alleged anti-staff stand of the management of the university, it was left with no option than to petition the management in order to evolve lasting solution to their grievances.
“The congress decided that if the management fails in resolving the above issues amicably, then the branch union on behalf of its members to seek approval of industrial action to embark for a strike,” the statement added.
In a reaction, Vice Chancellor of the university, Prof. Alhassan Mohammed Gani, said he had expected NASU to have exhausted all internal mechanisms in resolving the issues rather than taking them to the public domain.
Prof. Gani said members of the union by going public without recourse to internal mechanisms for conflict resolution, “are out to smear the management of the university in bad light.”
He took time to explain the various complaints raised by the union, stressing that writing petitions to agencies “on issues that are not factual and issues that were settled internally amounts to deliberate attempt to cause confusion and disharmony among the staff.”
The VC explained that university buses were procured by government to serve students needs for field trips, excursions and other outdoor activities. “Management cannot sacrifice these facilities at the detriment of teaching and learning.”
On the alleged refusal to approve study leave for members of NASU, Prof Gani said the conditions of service for the institution are clear on how staff can proceed on study leave. He warned that any staff that starts a study without approval has erred and would be punished
He explained further that hazard allowance is paid only to entitled staff from the personnel vote, just as call duty, responsibility and overtime are paid to deserving staff.
Prof .Gani said management of the institution would continue to discharge its functions without distinction.