…says members yet To Be Paid Minimum Wage Increment Arrears One Year After
Hope of University students returning to classrooms anytime soon may have suffered setback as the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the 2 main unions in the nations university have said they will commence a strike action once the government declares schools opened.
The two main Unions which include Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) are protesting what they described as haphazard implementation of the IPPIS and non implementation of the 2009 agreement entered by the Federal government and the unions
The Joint Action Committee (JAC) also said one year after workers in other sectors were paid their arrears of the minimum wage Increment, workers in the nation’s universities are yet to get theirs.
Addressing a joint press conference in Abuja, SSANU president, Samson Ugwoke and NASU General Secretary, Peters Adeyemi said since February 2020, series of letters have been written by the unions to the IPPIS office with no response, even as he accused the government of being insensitive to the plight of university workers.
Ugwoke explained that when the IPPIS directive was announced by the Federal government, it was treated with initial suspicion by all University based Unions based due to their experiences with past experiments of government and the belief that the platform may not be able to properly address the peculiarities associated with the governance and general administration of the University System.
He said following series of engagements culminating in a meeting held on 11th July, 2019 at the National Universities Commission (NUC), some of those fears were allayed when a comprehensive visual presentation of the capacity and benefits of the IPPIS was made to the representatives of all the University based Unions and critical stakeholders in the system.
He said “the outcome has however negated the spirit behind our enrollment and to the extent, we have every moral ground to agitate. We have given the system the benefit of doubt and opportunity to prove itself but it had failed. Today, we pass a vote of no confidence on IPPIS.”
On the 2009 agreement reached with the federal government on earned allowance, he said the government is yet to release N30 billion owned its members despite assurances which led to the suspension of their warning strike in August 2019.
He said, “As responsible Unions, we have avoided these crisis but the irresponsibility of government and its officials have led us to a point where it has become inevitable. If fight we must, then fight we will. We have again cried out to the general public with a view to inviting stakeholders and well meaning Nigerians to prevail on Government to correct the anomalies of IPPIS, pay us the arrears of both Earned Allowances and Minimum Wage, among all the other issues highlighted above, failing which it will be a showdown in the University System effective from when Universities would be directed to reopen for activities after the COVID 19 lockdown.
“If by the time schools are asked to reopen and the needful is not done, it means hope is lost and the earlier avoidable industrial conflict becomes inevitable. This is what we seek to avert, hence this public outcry and call.”