THE Joint Action Committee of four trade unions of the Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa State, has issued a 21 days ultimatum to the governing council with effect from Friday, June 23, 2017 to address all the issues bordering on rejection of the report submitted by the staff verification committee, just as they complained over the running of the institution unilaterally by the Pro-Chancellor, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, or be prepare for a showdown.
The JAC accused Senator Gbemisola Saraki of allegedly running the institution unilaterally and without recourse to due process.
The JAC, comprising the Academic staff Union of Universities; the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities; the National Association of Academic Technologists and Non-Academic Staff Union, carpeted Saraki for allegedly disallowing a properly-constituted Committee on Staff Verification to submit their report.
The staff verification committee, which was saddled with the mandate of looking into the issues of staff welfare, promotions, salary disparity, tax remittances, pension remission, statutory allowances, and confirmation of appointment, among others had reportedly submitted its report to the Governing Council.
They claimed that instead of the Pro-Chancellor to work on the report of the committee, she allegedly disregarded it and constituted another Ad-Hoc Committee unilaterally to look into staff welfare and complaints as well as to probe the protest in the institution on May 23, 2017.
In a communiqué issued on Friday after the end of their emergency meeting at the ASUU Secretariat Complex of the university, JAC rejected the constitution of the ad-hoc committee by Saraki, insisting that the groups must know the outcome of the first committee.
The communiqué signed by Chairman, ASUU, Dr. Joseph Omoro; Chairman, SSANU, Kalizibe Joseph; Chairman, NAAT, Ama Uduma and Chairman, NASU, Bestman Egba, also berated the Pro-Chancellor for allegedly conducting the meetings of council in Abuja instead of holding it at the University in Otuoke.
“We therefore issue a 21-day ultimatum to the governing council with effect from Friday, June 23, 2017 to address all the issues raised in the communiqué to avoid a showdown.
The communiqué reads in part, ”Members of the unions demand the immediate release and implementation of the verification report. In this way, staff complaints, staff issues and staff welfare will be resolved and subsequent fallouts can then be addressed.
”We, therefore, wish to state that the constitution of another Governing Council Ad-Hoc Committee on staff complaints, staff issues and staff welfare is completely unacceptable and is, therefore, rejected.
”That the failure to release and implement the original reports on staff verification undermines the integrity of the council and breaches the trust between council and unions.”
”We forbid any member of the four unions from participating in the activities of the Ad-hoc committee either as a member or as a respondent.
”The Pro-Chancellor should be reminded that the council is constituted on the basis of representation to include internal and external members of the university community, hence the decision of the council should be collective.”
JAC said the constitution of the ad-hoc committee was deliberately conceived and intended to further create industrial unrest in the university. It accused Saraki of making herself a ”demigod” instead of moving the university forward by interacting and collaborating with stakeholders.
The JAC urged the Council to carry out an assessment tour and comprehensive audit of all projects in the university (abandoned and ongoing) including the cost and contractors involved with effect from 2011 to date. It said the audit was necessary because the number of abandoned projects in the institution had become a source of worry and concern to their members.
JAC also demanded the immediate constitution of the Central Appraisal and Promotions Committee to conclude all outstanding promotions, upgrades and proper placement of both teaching and non-teaching staff of the university.