… Unions accuse authorities of favouring teaching staff
OBIORA IFOH, Abuja
The non-teaching staff of the Nigerian Universities have asked the Federal Government to release the sum of N30 billion for the payment of arrears of allowances owed its members.
The two unions which began a five-day warning strike last Monday, said the money was to be used to close the gap created by the discriminatory disbursement of the funds earlier approved for settlement of university workers’ Earned Allowances.
They said part of their grievances is the alleged discrimination adopted by government in disbursing N25 billion allocated to Federal Universities in the country.
The aggrieved University workers under the aegis of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) also urged the government to urgently reopen negotiation on the implementation of the 2009 agreement between it and various unions in the university system.
Addressing a press conference on Thursday the Joint Action Committee of led by the National Vice President/zonal chairman of SSANU, Comrade Solomon Alfa, said the five-day warning strike embarked upon last Monday to press home their demands has been very successful.
Alfa said the unions were protesting the continued discriminatory practice by government in favour of the academic staff in the sharing of money meant for payment of earned allowances.
“Consequently, the JAC of SSANU and NASU is demanding the sum of N30 billion from the Federal Government for payment to the non-teaching staff in order to close the gap it created by the discriminatory allocations. Thereafter, JAC expects that government will not allow such dichotomy to raise its ugly head in the system against after defraying the balance,” he said.
Alfa said the unions decided to give further update on the warning strike embarked upon last Monday, is also an opportunity for the unions to create awareness and urge Nigerians to prevail on the government to do something urgently to prevent “mother of all strikes” in the nation’s tertiary institutions.
“This repeated discriminatory practice by government of the day in favour of ASUU and against the non teaching staff is not only worrisome but has portrayed the present government as bias as well as well as causing divide and rule capable of creating disharmony in the system as an avenue to crumble and kill the university education system.
” Therefore, the JAC of SSANU and NASU is calling on all Nigerians to condemn this act of government with a view to correcting itself.”
When asked to comment on the reappointment of Senator Chris Ngige as Minister of Labour and Employment, Alfa said that the unions were ready to cooperate with him, but that he should try to avoid past mistakes so as to ensure harmony in the sector.
However, the unions acknowledged that the Federal Government has restored the sacked employees of University Staff Schools to their jobs through a circular it said has been issued to the various institutions.
For a better society