IN order to prevent a full-blown industrial strike that could cause disruption of the academic and administrative process in federal tertiary institutions across the country, the Senior Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has placed three demands before President Muhammadu Buhari for immediate positive actions.
National Vice President and Chairman of Western Zone of SSANU, Mr. Alfred Jimoh, disclosed this at a press conference held on Thursday at the association’s secretariat in the University of Ibadan.
He stated that the press conference was held in compliance with the directive given by the national president of SSANU, Samson Ugwoke, who is the Chairman of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of NASU and SSANU that in rounding off the warning strike, the zone should address journalists to further sound “our demands loud and clear to the government and the Nigerian larger society.” The five-day warning strike by the unions ends today.
According to Jimoh, the three demands include immediate reinstatement of all teachers of University Staff School “to the payroll of their individual universities, and payment of all the arrears of salaries being owed them, including all their arrears of promotion.
“Furthermore, we demand for a circular from the Ministry of Education to the Ministry of Budget and Planning to edit its contentious ‘Budget Call Circular’ which had always stated that inclusion of staff schools teachers on the University Budget amounts to ‘willful inclusion of Ghost workers on the budget even after the December 5, 2016 judgement.”
The second demand of SSANU bordered on the immediate release of N30billion for the part payment of the Earned Allowances of SSANU and NASU members.
The association also said the Wale Babalakin Committee should go back to its work immediately on the renegotiation of the 2017 Agreement, with a view to concluding its works within a very short timeline.
“While the committee had met on a number of occasions and the unions have also submitted their position papers to the committee, it is pertinent to let Nigerians know that the committee for reasons best known to it, has chosen ‘to travel on the slow lane’ so far. Throughout this year till date, the committee is yet to hold a single meeting. It’s in the light of this that SSANU and NASU are demanding that government should direct Dr. Wale Babalakin to reconvene his committee with a view to concluding its works within a very short timeline from now,” Jimoh stated.
He also told Nigerians that “we the non-teaching staff of Nigerian universities are not joining issues with ASUU (Academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities), neither are we asking for equality with the teaching staff, we are only asking for equity in the system. What is good for the goose is good for the gander.”