Benjamin Babine, Abuja
Hope of students returning to classrooms anytime soon may have suffered another setback as the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) have said they will commence a strike action once the schools are opened.
Both unions which make up the Joint Action Committee (JAC) are protesting what they described as haphazard implementation of the Integrated Payrole and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), and non implementation of the 2009 agreement entered by the Federal government and the unions.
The Joint Action Committee (JAC) also said their workers are yet to get paid the arrears of the minimum wage increment one year after other workers in other sectors were paid. Addressing journalists in Abuja, SSANU President, Samson Ugwoke and NASU General Secretary, Peters Adeyemi said since February 2020, series of letters had been written by the unions to the IPPIS office with no response.
He said, “As responsible Unions, we have avoided these crisis but the irresponsibility of government and its officials have led us to a point where it has become inevitable. If fight we must, then fight we will. We have again cried out to the general public with a view to inviting stakeholders and well meaning Nigerians to prevail on Government to correct the anomalies of IPPIS, pay us the arrears of both Earned Allowances and Minimum Wage, among all the other issues highlighted above, failing which it will be a showdown in the University System effective from when Universities would be directed to reopen for activities after the COVID 19 lockdown.
“If by the time schools are asked to reopen and the needful is not done, it means hope is lost and the earlier avoidable industrial conflict becomes inevitable. This is what we seek to avert, hence this public outcry and call.”