ASUU: Taraba State chapter declares indefinite strike over earned allowances, others

The Taraba State chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has declared an indefinite strike action to register its grievance over the government’s failure to pay the lecturers their earned academic allowances.

Samuel Shitaa, ASUU chapter chairman for Taraba State University noted that other reasons for the industrial action includes non- implementation of agreements and perimeter fencing of the institution.

Ifeanyi Abada, ASUU chairman at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka confirming the strike said that it is a local strike that has the approval of the national body, and that it does not necessarily affect the other universities.

“No Local chapter can go on strike without the go ahead order from the national,” he said.

ASUU national leaders had given the Taraba State chapter the permission to embark on the strike action to press home its demands and the state government’s refusal to listen to the union’s request.

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The lecturers’ in Taraba State have insisted that basically the rationale behind their embarking on total and indefinite strike action is hinged on government’s failure to pay earned academic allowances, promotion arrears, fractional payment of salaries to staff as well as unsettled staff pension and gratuity scheme.

However, the Taraba State government said ASUU is yet to communicate its intended action to it. Edward Baraya, commissioner for tertiary education made this known to the media while reacting to the strike action.

Baraya expressed surprise that ASUU would take such a decision when the present government is doing everything possible to address the issues before leaving office.

In the same vein, Bala Dan-Abu, special adviser to the state governor on media and publicity in a press statement said the outgoing governor is owing no worker salaries.

“The outgoing administration of his excellency, Darius Dickson Ishaku, executive governor of Taraba state, is not owing any group of workers in the state monthly salaries and, therefore, will not be leaving behind any burden arising from unpaid emoluments for the in-coming administration.

This clarification became necessary following a press statement issued recently on behalf of the in-coming administration of Agbu Kefas, the governor-elect which contained a promise to pay salary arrears in its first 100 days.

This veiled accusation is wrong and unnecessary. The Ishaku administration never toyed with the welfare of workers in its eight years of stewardship in the state. It had consistently paid their salaries since it assumed office in 2015, most of the time before the end of every month.

We find this so-called promise to pay outstanding salary arrears made on behalf of the governor-elect not only misplaced but also misleading.

It is also surprising coming from an in-coming administration widely known and regarded to be an offspring of the present government of his excellency, Darius Ishaku.

We think we needed to set the records straight, hence this rebuttal,” the statement read in part.

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