• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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FG moves to avert looming SSANU/NASU strike

Workers Day 2022: SSANU warns against toying with youth’s future

In a swift move to avert the February 5 indefinite strike by the Senior Staff Association Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Allied and Education Institutions (NASU), the Federal Government has set up a joint committee to address concerns raised by the unions.

The Joint Committee comprising representatives of the two unions and government officials would work in harmony to ensure that those anomalies in payment complaints by the unions are treated to the satisfaction of concerned parties.

Chris Ngige, minister of Labour and Employment, stated this at the end of a meeting between the Federal Government and members of SSANU and NASU, convened to avert the unions’ impending industrial action.

Ngige described the meeting as fruitful, and the progress made, satisfying as “the government side responded to issues on Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and what is being done to assist the university non-academic workers, who have had some complaints in that direction in terms of some of their allowances they said were chopped off by the IPPIS system.”

He disclosed that the unions’ executives had taken permission to go consult their members on some conclusions reached at the meeting, and would come back for further discussions.

Ngige said the government side also had a bigger committee in place to formalise all the allowances that had been granted to all the unions in the university system – academic and non-academic. According to him, that would create uniformity in the earned allowances in the university system.

Peter Adeyemi, general secretary, NASU, explained that on account of some developments at the meeting, the unions’ representatives requested for time to consult with, and seek further directives from their members.

“We just want to confirm that we are favourably disposed to dialogue and after discussing with our members, we will definitely come back and we will go on with the discussion,” said Adeyemi.

The Federal Government on Tuesday failed to reach an understanding with the non-teaching staff in the universities under the umbrella of Joint Action Committee (JAC), as their meeting ended without headway.

Parts of the contention include the Federal Government’s handling of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, sharing formula of the N40 billion earned academic allowances and non-payment of arrears of the new minimum wage.

Others are the non-payment of retirement benefits to former members, poor funding of universities, non-constitution of visitation panels to universities and teaching staff usurping the headship of non-teaching units, among others.