By Gabriel Dike
The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) has extended the ongoing industrial action by two months.
The non-teaching staff of universities on April 21st, 2022 embarked on strike to press home the implementation of their demands. JAC on May 23rd extended the industrial action by one month.
In a circular to branch chairmen of SSANU and NASU dated June 21st and signed by the General Secretary of NASU, Prince Peters Adeyemi and the National President of SSANU, Mohammed Ibrahim, said the negotiation with the federal government team is ongoing but at an exceedingly slow pace.
The union leaders commended SSANU and NASU members for their sustained compliance with the directive of the National Executive Council (NEC) on the ongoing industrial action, stressing, “the compliance of members, even in the face of the denials of our salaries, threats and harassment, has continued to give the national leadership the needed strength and focus to forge ahead on our demands.”
According to JAC, the success recorded over the payment of the minimum wage consequential adjustment arrears, which members in the university system benefitted, was made possible by the resilience of SSANU and NASU members.
The leaders noted that few members across the branches and from the Federal Universities of Agriculture are yet to be paid, stating, “JAC is not resting on its oars and shall ensure these omissions are resolved.”
Adeuemi and Ibarhim pledged to follow up on the resolution reached with the government at the tripartite meeting held on Thursday, May 2022 to test the SSANU and NASU new salary platform, University Peculiar Personnel and Payroll System (U3PS) software with the National Information Technology Development Agency (NITDA).
JAC explained that the three payment solutions; U3UP, UTAS and IPPIS are currently being subjected to tests in the last three weeks, noting, “while there has not been any final report, we are proud to inform you that our presentations have been brilliant and impressive.”
The NASU scribe and SSANU president assured members that the U3PS has been conceived to cater for all salary tables and allowances operational in the university system and that there is reason to fear exclusion by any group within the system.
According to JAC, the two unions have recorded success in the restoration of Responsibility Allowance to deserving members of SSANU and NASU as well as the correction of the payment of the Hazard Allowance from N180, 000 to N360, 000 per annum to SSANU members in the document.
Adeyemi and Ibrahim observed that there has been no commitment of government to pay the arrears of Earned Allowances being owned non-teaching staff.
JAC said: “In view of the fact that government is still a long way from effectively resolving the issues in contention, it is only expedient that we allow the process to be fully concluded before directing the end of the strike.
“Consequently, you are hereby informed that the strike has been extended by two months, within which we are hoping that all the contentious issues would have been effectively laid to rest. The two months extension is with effect from Friday, 24th June 2022.
“We urge you to keep up the spirit across the branches as we are slowly inching close to victory. We also urge you to disregard various rumours and misinformation especially on social media and rely on your national leaders who are ever willing to give factual and true information on the status of the struggle.”