Non-teaching staff in Nigerian universities have threatened to begin a three-day countrywide strike from tomorrow. The workers, under the aegis of the Joint Action Committee, are decrying the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS), sharing formula of the N40bn earned academic allowances and non-payment of arrears of the new minimum wage.
The committee said other contentious issues that informed the decision included inconsistencies in IPPIS payment and the delay in the renegotiation of the FGN/ ASUU/SSANU 2009 agreement, non-payment of retirement benefits to former members and non-constitution of visitation panels to universities.
JAC, which comprises the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities, directed all its branches to mobilise their members on for the rallies.
The decision to embark on the protest was taken on Friday at a meeting by the leadership of NASU and SSANU in Abuja, where they reviewed the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Federal Government on October 20, 2020.
In a communique signed by the SSANU President, Mohammed Ibrahim, and the General Secretary of NASU, Prince Peters Adeyemi, the committee added that the unions would consider other measures, including embarking on an indefinite strike, after the protests.
The JAC is expected to meet on Thursday to review the success of the protest and deliberate on the next step.
It was also gathered that the unions have notified the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, who is the conciliator between the FG and the unions of their intention to embark on the protests.
The FG had in December approved N40bn earned allowances for the four university unions and allegedly allocated 75 per cent of the amount to the Academic Staff Union of Universities.
But this did not go down well with the NASU, SSANU and the National Association of Academic Technologists as they rejected the sharing formula and threatened to ground the universities.
When asked on Sunday what was being done to address the unions’ demands, the spokesman, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. Charles Akpan, said, “When such issues come up, we as the conciliator always invite them to meetings to address their demands but I don’t have any information on what was being done on their demands.”Follow us on social media