Unpaid salaries: SSANU, NASU declare 7-day warning strike

0
78

The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) on Monday declared a 7-day warning strike to demand the payment of four months of withheld salaries of their members after the 2022 nationwide strike.

SSANU president, Mr Mohammed Ibrahim, said in a communiqué read to journalist in Abuja that the unions were angered by the government’s delay in fulfilling its obligation to pay its members.

He said the decision was part of the resolution of the joint action committee of the two unions which met at the Federal University of Technology, Akure, Ondo State at the weekend.

He further said the resolve to declare a warning strike was taken as a last resort since several protest letters to the chief of staff to the president, Mr Femi Gbajabiamila and the minister of education, Prof Tahir Mamman on February 13, 2024 over the exclusion of the non-teaching staff from the payment of outstanding four months salaries yielded no positive result.

“We are therefore shocked that two weeks after the letters had been sent and received by the appropriate quarters, the federal government has remained quiet and refused to take any step towards addressing this very sensitive issue and it seems as if the federal government is taking our maturity for granted.

“We like to confirm through this medium once again to the federal government that the pressure on us has intensified and we have done everything possible within our ambit to prevail on our members to maintain industrial peace and tranquility.

“While we appreciate the federal government for paying our academic counterpart, we also deem it necessary that our members are also paid. The various feelers we are getting from our members in the universities and inter-university centres indicate that we can no longer guarantee and be able to sustain industrial peace in the university sector,” he said.

Ibrahim said the two unions had been given seven days to mobilise their members for a total lock down of the university system should the government fail to accede to their demand.

“Members have unanimously resolved they will not accept this injustice meted on us, because there is no explanation that can scientifically or naturally be given to anyone as to why one group of our staff is paid and then the other three groups are not.

“Therefore, we have given the next one week where members will go back to their branches and sensitise our members. This time around, it is going to be a total strike. For seven days, there will be no water, no electricity, no medicals, no office work. Everybody will leave his office work until for seven days.

“However, we are hopeful, we are prayerful that government listens and then does the needful because we also know we have a responsibility for the society, for the university and for our students. So, nobody should blame us if this thing happens, because we have given enough notices, we have made enough sensitisation and we have contacted enough stakeholders.

“So it is going to be total, it is going to be total black out in our campuses all through Nigeria during the seven days until when that money is paid,” he added.

Speaking earlier on a television programme on Sunday, Ibrahim alleged that the government had overtly shown that SSANU and NASU do not matter.

“We have been clearly shown that we do not matter in the system. But we all know that there is no university that can function without the non-teaching staff because we are majorly populated by professionals. We own the engine of the administration of every university. They are treating this segment of staff with some disdain. It does not speak good of the system,” he said.