By Gabriel Dike
The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) have demanded that the Federal Government offset minimum wage arrears and pay N20 billion earned allowance for members as conditions to suspends its three-weeks-old industrial action.
The two conditions were issued during SSANU and NASU congresses mandated by the leadership of Joint Action Committee (JAC) to make inputs into what the Federal Government offered during the last negotiation with the unions.
On the strength of the two major demands and other issues deliberated, JAC asked branches to make inputs into government offers and on Friday, February 19, congresses were held in universities. JAC had agreed that resolutions from various branch congresses should be sent to the national leadership to guide the unions on the next line of action.
UNILAG JAC congress voted for continuation of the strike until the Federal Government paid arrears of new minimum wage and N20 billion as part of payment of earned allowances owed non-teaching staff.
Daily Sun gathered that at two universities in the South West, the striking workers insisted that the government must give time lag to pay the N20billion and arrears of new minimum wage.
In the South East, it was learnt that JAC in three federal universities kicked against the suspension of the strike until government shows commitment to pay the N20 billion earned allowance and arrears of the minimum wage.
JAC members at College of Medicine University of Lagos, however, voted to suspend the strike till April to enable government source funds to pay the new minimum wage arrears and balance of the earned allowance.
The congress warned that if government failed to pay by end of April 2021 as promised, suspension of the strike should be lifted or reviewed.
JAC leadership at the meeting with government officials had stated that no member of SSANU and NASU should be victimised for their role in the ongoing national strike. The Federal Government, however, has implored JAC to go and disburse the N10 billion earlier released to non-academic staff and that the current amount demanded from the accrued EA had been included in the 2021 supplementary budget scheduled.