By Gabriel Dike
SENIOR Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) and Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) are to commence a nationwide indefinite strike today due to the failure of the Federal Government to address their demands.
The industrial action by non-teaching workers of universities is designed to cripple administrative activities and also mar the provision of essential services on campuses.
SSANU and NASU members had staged a nationwide three-day protest as directed by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) from January 12 to 14, after which they issued two weeks ultimatum from January 22 to February 5 to the Federal Government to meet their demands or face an industrial action.
A circular by General Secretary of NASU, Prince Peter Adeyemi and National President of SSANU, Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim, said a meeting with the leadership of JAC and Federal Government representatives on February 3 to resolve contending issues ended in a deadlock.
“JAC leadership noted the quality of representation of government and the fact that while the officials were quite relevant to the meeting, their mandate to effectively commit government on the issues in contention was not satisfactory enough to gain the confidence of JAC leadership. The position was adequately conveyed to the Minister of Labour and Employment,” the union said.
It said the strike would take effect as from this midnight, pending any contrary resolution by its branches.
The demands by the union over which understandings were reached and agreement signed with the government for implementation include inconsistencies in IPPIS payment, non- payment of earned allowances, non- payment of arrears of national minimum wage, delay in renegotiation of Federal Government/NASU and SSANU 2009 agreements, non- payment of retirement benefits of outgone members, teaching staff usurping headship of non-teaching units in clear violation of conditions of service and establishment procedures, neglect and poor funding of state universities and non- constitution of visitation panels for universities