• Wednesday, May 22, 2024
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Anxiety grips Taraba State University academia over “Selective Payment”

Anxiety grips Taraba State University academia over “Selective Payment”

Indications have emerged that the Taraba State University (TSU) Jalingo, may embark on selective “payment of salary,” to divide the ranks of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), TSU chapter.

ASUU has been on industrial action, even before Covid-19 was declared as a pandemic, forcing the union’s chapters in institutions across the country to close.

Long after the easing down of lockdown measures, it is not imminent, when schools will resume for studies. Last week, the Federal Government agreed to release 70 Billion Naira as part of measures to meet the demands of the union.

Some members of the ASUU in TSU that spoke with BusinessDay on condition of anonymity said the university is compelling Deans of Faculties to submit names of their staff who have resumed work after the ease of lockdown measures due to Covid-19 lockdown.

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Recently, TSU management met with members of ASUU. A source privy to the meeting said from indications, the meeting was aimed at getting the academic staff to resume work.

“A meeting was held in the university at the instance of the management led by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Administration Prof Nanasen, management was not clear in what it wanted from the staff but there were indications that managment want ASUU members to resume work; the source said.

BusinessDay gathered that Deans of Faculties were requested to submit the names of those who resumed after Covid-19 lockdown.

The decision did not go down well with ASUU. The union sees the move as an attempt to divide its ranks. There are also suspicions that there might be a selective payment.

The last time they were paid was September, this year.

Some of the issues in dispute are partial subvention for payment of salaries, non-payment of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) since 2013 to date, non-payment for Sandwich programmes, Post Graduate allowances, no imprest for the running of departments, non-supply of work tools such as copiers, computers, etc. The introduction of “register to coarse members of academic staff to sign with the intention to polarise” the union is adding to the feud.

“These are local issues in contention at TSU: partial subvention for payment of salaries, nonpayment of EAA since 2013 to date, nonpayment of Sandwich, postgraduate allowances, no imprest for the running of departments; the non-supply of working tools such as copiers, computers, etc. The reason why students’ results are printed in business centers outside the school. The unlawful appointment of the registrar to the dean Dean Faculty of mass communications by the vice Chancellor is impunity of the highest other etc.

“Recently, for no good cause, the university management stopped payment of salaries for three months (September/November). Only to introduce ‘interested register to coarse members of academic staff to sign with the intention to polarize ASUU-TSU!” another source said.

In a telephone message replied to our correspondent in Jalingo, the Vice-Chancellor of the University Professor Vincent Ado Tenebe said “how many state universities are on strike now?. What are the main reasons for the present strike?. Is ASUU negotiating with state governments or the federal government? Is it the federal government that pays salaries and allowances of state universities?. Taraba State Government paid salaries for 7 months when the academic staff was on strike. Did you get any complaint from anybody?.

” This year salaries have been paid for 5 months without work. Is there anywhere in the world where you sit at home with no work and continue to earn salaries without conscience?. The government now says no work no pay. So how is management dividing ASUU?. Thanks” the text message read.

There are strong indications that the Taraba state chapter of ASUU will embark on a strike to press their local demands after the national body might have called off the eight to nine months strike.