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Varsity Staff Begin Strike Thursday Over Unpaid Salary Arrears

Varsity Staff Begin Strike Thursday Over Unpaid Salary Arrears

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Summary : The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) have threatened to ground activities on campuses nationwide from Thursday except the federal government pays the withheld salary arrears of their members. SSANU said this in a communique at the end of its 48 regular National Executive Council meeting at the University of Benin and signed by its President, Comrade Mohammed Ibrahim. On June 20, 2024, the university workers, through a letter addressed to the Minister of Education, Professor Tahir Mamman, gave the government a two-week ultimatum to pay the salary arrears. In the letter jointly signed by NASU General Secretary, Prince Peters Adeyemi and Ibrahim, the unions accused the government of neglect and insincerity. SSANU, in its communique on Tuesday in Abuja, said despite all promises by the Ministers of Education and Labour, including the House of Representatives to pay the arrears, the federal government has continued to “dribble SSANU, even after the mutual agreement to suspend the one-week warning strike in March this year.” Minister of State for Education, Dr Tanko Sununu promised to respond to the report when he was contacted. “NEC in session deliberated on the matter and unanimously approved a long-drawn comprehensive industrial action after concurrence with the Joint Action Committee meeting of SSANU and NASU scheduled for Thursday 4th July, 2024, if the government fails to pay the four months’ salary arrears,” SSANU said. The university workers also urged the federal government to resume the payment of the N35,000 wage award. The union also urged state governments that are yet to commence payment of the wage award to commence payment with the arrears accruing therefrom. The union threatened to join forces with other labour unions to shut down the system if negotiation on a new national minimum wage was not concluded. “NEC is aware that the Southern Governors Forum had a meeting to discuss an acceptable amount to be paid as National Minimum Wage across the Southern states, with a resolution that they should be allowed to discuss with unions on how to pay the NMW based on availability of funds. NEC further noted that the issue of NMW is on the Exclusive Legislative List and not on the Concurrent List, and so the federal government is to decide on an acceptable NMW. “SSANU, therefore, rejects in strong terms the proposal of the Southern Governors Forum in negotiating the NMW with their respective state labour centres,” the communique stated. SSANU noted that the gesture would facilitate the smooth administration of federal institutions. “However, NEC frowns at the non-appointment of educationist and experienced technocrats who could have contributed better to the development of our citadels of learning,” the union added. THE NATION

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