Latest: FG Threatens to Stop Salaries of SSANU, NASU Members
Following the decision of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and Allied Institutions (NASU) to embark on an indefinite strike, the Federal Government has threatened to stop the salaries of the university workers.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Sen Chris Ngige issued the threat at a social dialogue between the unions and the Federal Government on Thursday, February 11.
Ngige accused the union of embarking on strike after it requested for an adjournment during the period of dialogue. He argued that the actions of the unions were against the status quo, and threatened that the federal government may be forced to invoke Section 43 of the Trade Dispute Act 2004 and the International Labour Organisation (ILO) statutes, which permits it to stop the salaries of workers when they are on strike.
In response to the threat, the General Secretary of NASU, Peter Adeyemi said;
“How do you explain that you gave N40 billion to a sector and N10 billion was given to three unions. You cannot beat us and tell us not to cry.”
Earlier: FG Sets Up Committee to Address SSANU, NASU Demands
Following reports that the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of the Universities and Allied Institutions (NASU), are set to embark on strike on Friday, February 5, the Federal Government has set up a joint committee to address the complaints of the aggrieved unions.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said this while addressing reporters at the end of a closed-door meeting held with the non-teaching staff of federal universities on Tuesday in Abuja.
The minister revealed that the government has inaugurated a committee consisting of the union, representatives of Federal Government from the Ministry of Education, Salary, Wages and Income Commission, Office of Accountant-General and the National Universities Commission to work out modalities in resolving the disputes.
The striking unions are demanding that the inconsistencies in the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS) be corrected, payment of arrears of Minimum Wage, renegotiation of the NASU and SSANU 2009 agreement, among others.
Earlier: FG Meeting with SSANU, NASU Ends in Deadlock
The meeting between the Federal Government team and the non-teaching staff in the universities under the umbrella of Joint Action Committee, JAC, ended Tuesday without any resolution of the contentious issues.
Recall that JAC comprising the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities, SSANU had threatened to shut down the universities starting from February 5 if the government failed to address some of the concerns they raised.
Among the concerns include the issue of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS, which the unions complained that they were having problems with since they migrated into the platform, the non-payment of arrears of minimum wage since April last year, the disparity in the sharing of the N40 billion Earned Allowances in which the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU was allocated 75 per cent of the total sum leaving 25 per cent for three unions and the alleged usurpation of the functions of the non-teaching staff by the ASUU members.
In a bid to save the universities from the impending strike, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, who is the conciliator between the government and the unions convened a meeting in his office in Abuja. However, Vanguard learned that the meeting ended without any resolution of the burning issues.
A source present at the meeting told one of our correspondents that the union members had to request for adjournment when it was clear to them that the government had nothing on the table for the amicable settlement of the contending issues.
The source said, “On the issue of the arrears of minimum wage, they said there is no date for payment” On the IPPIS, they have formed a committee among the unions to go and sit down with the IPPIS to sort out the nagging issues. “As we discovered that there was practically nothing forthcoming from the government, we tactically asked for an adjournment so that we can go and meet our people because the issue of minimum wage arrears is one of the major issues and the IPPIS thing.
If those things are not ready so what are we discussing? “We told them we are going to meet with our people if we can get fresh mandate to continue with the discussion.” They requested that we should communicate back to Government within 48 hours.” The source said the issue of Earned Allowances was never discussed at the meeting.
Earlier: NASU, SSANU to Embark on Indefinite Strike on February 5th
The Non-teaching staff in the Universities on Friday announced that they will be proceeding on what they described as a total and comprehensive nationwide strike on 5th February 2021 following the inability of the Federal Government to address their concerns.
The non-teaching staff under the umbrella of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) comprising the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) also announced the immediate commencement of a two-week warning strike.
Recall that the unions have made series of attempts to draw attention to the Government over latent and growing industrial tension in the university system but all to no avail.
The two unions had last week embarked on a three-day protest over the alleged government failure to honour the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, signed with them on 20th October 2020.
Besides, the unions have lamented over the difficulties members were passing through as a result of enrollment in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS and the discrepancy in the sharing of the N40 billion Earned Allowances to the four university-based unions where the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU alone was allocated 75 percent of the total sum.
Addressing journalists in Abuja, JAC of the unions led by the National President of SSANU, Comrade Mohammed Ibrahim, and General Secretary NASU, Prince Peters Adeyemi, said out of the seven issues under contention, only one was partially resolved.
They listed the issues which include inconsistencies in IPPIS payment, non-payment of Earned Allowances, non-payment of arrears of national minimum wage, delay in a renegotiation of FG/NASU and SSANU 2009 agreement, non-payment of retirement benefits of outgone members.
Other issues are; 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.
In the prepared text read by the NASU General Secretary, Prince Adeyemi, JAC said: “Out of the seven issues, only one has been partially resolved while the other six issues have not been attended to by the government, three months after the Memorandum of Understanding was signed.”
JAC noted that after the congress held at its branches nationwide, 90 percent of NASU members were in support of a strike and 10 percent stood against crippling activities in universities.
While 83 percent of SSANU members were in support of embarking on strike, 11 percent were against the strike and six percent were indifferent. “It is in line with the resolution of our members nationwide that the leadership of the joint action committee of NASU and SSANU hereby resolve as follows;
“That members of NASU and SSANU shall embark on an indefinite, comprehensive, and total strike with effect from midnight of Friday, 5th February 2021. “That two weeks’ notice effective from today, Friday 22nd January 2021, is hereby given to the government and relevant stakeholders of this development.”
Earlier: NASU, SSANU Embarks on 3-Day Protest Over IPPIS, Others
The Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) have threatened to embark on a three-day protest on January, 12.
The unions in a circular jointly issued on Sunday in Abuja said that the planned strike was to protest the non-implementation of an agreement reached with the Federal Government.
The unions under the aegis of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) issued the circular to all branch chairmen of the unions in the universities and Inter-university centers.
The circular was signed by the General Secretary of NASU, Mr. Peters Adeyemi, and the president of SSANU, Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim.
Adeyemi said that a JAC meeting was held on Jan. 8, where the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) reached and signed with the Federal Government on Oct. 20, 2020, was reviewed.
He listed the agitations of the unions to include inconsistencies in the Integrated Payroll Personnel Information Systems (IPPIS) payment, non-payment of Earned Allowances (EA), and non-payment of arrears of minimum wage.
He also fingered the delay in the renegotiation of Federal Government, NASU, and SSANU negotiation of 2009, as part of the agitations.
According to him, other demands are the non-payment of retirement benefits of out-gone members, teaching staff usurping headships of non-teaching units in clear violation of conditions of service, and establishment procedures.
Adeyemi also decried the neglect and poor funding of state universities and the non-constitution of visitation panels for universities.
He added that in view of this development, the JAC, therefore, directed that a general meeting of its committees in all branches of universities and Inter-university centres be mandatorily held on Jan. 11.