Varsities’ Non-Academic Unions Begin Strike On Monday

The three non-academic staff unions comprising the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SAANU), would begin an indefinite industrial action from Monday, September 11, 2017.

This comes as the Ministers of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige and his Education counterpart, Adamu Adamu, are scheduled to meet the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) delegation today in Abuja with a view to reaching an agreement with the striking varsities’ lecturers.

The Chairman of Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the unions, Samson Ugwoke, said yesterday in Abuja that the staff unions are proceeding on strike due to the failure of the Federal Government to implement the Memorandum of Understanding reached with them in January this year following a five-day warning strike.

Ugwoke added: “The January strike was suspended on January 18 through the intervention of the Minister of Labour and Employment, who headed the Federal Government team that interfaced with JAC. Unfortunately, seven months after, we are still at the sorry situation we were before the Memorandum of Understanding was signed as issues in contention were not addressed and government kept a dead silence despite letters and entreaties reminding them of their commitment to the non-teaching staff unions.”

The three non-academic staff unions said 95 per cent of their members voted for a total strike until the Federal Government opens a line of meaningful dialogue with them.

“Having cleared from our members and gotten a direction from them, we hereby announce that the JAC of NAAT, NASU and SSANU has directed its members to embark on a comprehensive, total and indefinite strike action, effective from Monday, September 11, 2017. During the strike, there shall be no provision of services, no matter how skeletal. Concessions shall not be granted while all our members are to stay at home till further notice, unless as directed by JAC through their respective Presidents,” he said.

The demands of the unions are: payment of earned allowances; a review of the governance system in the universities; improved funding in line with UNESCO recommendations; provision of infrastructure in universities; payment of salary shortfalls of members; implementation of the National Industrial Court judgment on universities’ staff school.

Others are: registration of pension fund; implementation of CONTISS 15 for technologists; improvement of teaching and learning facilities in the universities; stemming of tide of corruption in the university system; showing more commitment and seriousness in the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/universities unions agreements and ensuring the headship of non-teaching units in non-teaching staff employed for the purposes of those units.

TheGuardian NG