From Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Taraba State University (TSU) branch, staged a peaceful protest on Tuesday around the institution over what they described as traffic quarter salary.
Dr. Samuel Shikaa, the branch chairman of ASUU who led the protest said the action followed a resolution of the union’s Congress meeting held at the University premises in Jalingo.
The academic staff who are also demanding their earned allowances, decried the unfortunate victimization of members by the Taraba State government for participating in the just conclud nationwide ASUU strike and threatened to embark on indefinite strike if the situation is not addressed.
“We wish to bring to public notice, the unfortunate victimization of our members by the Taraba state government for participating in the just concluded nationwide ASUU strike. The Executive Governor of Taraba State, the Visitor to TSU, governor Darius Ishaku has maintained categorically, the “no work, no pay” stands as a punitive measure against the Union for participating in the nationwide strike.
“The Governor has claimed that he has solved all local issues in the branch, hence the participation of ASUU-TSU in the strike was purely on “sympathy” grounds, on the basis of which he decided to withhold the salaries of our members to serve as a deterrent in the future.
“The Union wishes to make two things very clear about this misunderstanding of the issues as follows: (1) Our participation in the nationwide strike was not on sympathy grounds. The issues that necessitated the strike such as the renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement pertaining to the salary structure and welfare of our members, revitalization funds for all public universities, deployment of UTAS against the obnoxious IPPIS to ensure university autonomy among other issues affected us too, hence, the need for us to join in the struggle.
“On this basis, our participation in the strike was not on sympathy grounds. As a committed branch of The Union, we participated in the strike to press home, issues that equally affect us for our own good and the benefit of TSU generally, and so do every other state university in the country.
“The claims by the governor that all local issues in the University are resolved is not true. We wish to state to the notice of the general public that none of the issues affecting the branch has been addressed.
“For the avoidance of doubt, the major issues that ASUU-TSU is engagin the State Government to see that they are resolve include: (I), Increased funding of fhe University in line with the Taraba State Law NO(4) establishing the University. (II) Implementation of a contributory pension scheme for staff of the University. (III) Payment of the accumulated Earned Academic Allowances, (iv) Payment of promotion arrears and parameter fencing of the University to improve the security of staff and students.
“It is based on these issues that the 2021 MoA between the branch and the state government was reached. Sadly, none of the issues has been addressed at the moment and yet, the governor consider it honourable enough to misinform Tarabans that he has addressed all the local issues affecting ASUU-TSU branch.
“It is disheartening to note that salary in TSU has become a big privilege. It is either never
paid at all or paid in fractions, a trend that has continued in the University for years now.
“For records purposes, members of the academic staff of the university have not received salaries since February 2022. At the moment, no date is mention as to precisely when the withheld salaries will be paid. It is worthy to know that, the salary for October 2022 is also withheld even as the nationwide strike was suspended last month” The lecturers decried.
Meanwhile, Prof. Sunday Bako the Vice Chancellor of the University while appealing to the union to exercise more patients, disclosed that the university authority were already working hard to ensure that all local issues affecting ASUU in the University were addressed.
Our correspondent report that the the legislative workers union in the state just suspended a one week warning strike while Pensioners have been staging protest in the state over non payment of their pension and gratuity.