From Fred Ezeh, Abuja
Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non Academic Staff of Universities (NASU), University of Abuja (UniAbuja) Chapter, joined the colleagues nationwide in a three days protest against unfair labour treatment.
The nationwide exercise was to reawaken the consciousness of the Federal Government to several agreements it reached with the Union regarding working conditions and other welfare.
NASU Chairman, Uniabuja, Dahiru Okolo, told Daily Sun that the exercise became imperative following several months of waiting for the government to attend to the needs of the university base labour unions.
He said: “It was a joint exercise and it was done simultaneously in our mini campus and permanent site. It was last for three days. We will continue on Wednesday and Thursday. It’s about earned academic allowance and other allowances which the government has failed to act upon.
“We moved from the Senate building to the gate for like five times with placards bearing several inscriptions and chanting solidarity songs. We need to reawaken the consciousness of the Federal Government to our plight. I am glad the exercise was successful and we hope it will be so in the next two exercises.”
NASU Treasurer, Sadiat Hassan, challenged government to accord same relevance it accorded to academic staff of universities to the non academic staff as well, stressing that there was no way any university could function without their services.
She said: “We are protesting against the irregularities in IPPIS payment and demanding the renegotiation of our 2009 agreement which has been long overdue.
“We are also protesting against the non-payment of our earned allowances and injustice that was done by the Federal Government in the distribution of the earned allowances because they gave a particular union 75 per cent and the the other unions 25 per cent.
“This is against the agreement held in October (last year) that the money was for all the unions. So, we expect them to do justice to everybody because this is earned allowances.
“We earned our allowances just like every other union. So, we want justice. We also want the government to pay us our minimum wage as promised as they have paid other ministries since 2019.
“That is why we are communication with them that they should give us our rights because Universities or tertiary institutions in Nigeria do not comprise only the teaching staff alone.
“There are also other administrative staff that are doing very relevant jobs in various offices. So, we shouldn’t be taken for granted because without our services, the University system cannot perform because we know that we are also important.
“We are also law abiding citizens; that is why we decided to go with them when they came for IPPIS. Now, we have enrolled, our problems continue, in fact, more than even what we are having before. That is why we are calling on them now to address these irregularities or else we will be ready to down tools in our various institutions.”