By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA – FULL administrative activities are set to commence in the nation’s public universities as non teaching staff in the nation’s universities have called of their over three months old strike.
The non-teaching staff of Nigerian universities operating under three unions, namely, the Non Academic Staff Union of Universities, NASU, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU and National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, who have been on trike since December 4, last year, announced the suspension of the over three months strike Wednesday.
Announcing the suspension of the strike at a press conference in Abuja, Samson Ugwoke, the National Chairman of the Joint Action Committee of the three unions involved in the action said members will resume work on Thursday.
Members of the unions, according to him, have been directed to resume on March 15, 2018.
But he warned that the unions may be forced to resume the action if agreements that led to its suspension were not strictly adhered to.
Hear him:“We shall not hesitate to resume the strike if government reneges on the agreements reached or delays in any aspects.
Recall that the federal government at a meeting with the unions last week, had agreed to source for about N8 billion to settle the earned allowance of striking non-teaching staff of universities within the next five weeks, a commitment that led to the suspension of the industrial action.
The development formed part of the agreement reached between the striking workers under the Joint Action Committee and federal government after two days of conciliatory meeting.
At the conciliatory meeting, government had agreed to the unions’ demand that no worker be victimized on account of taking part in the strike action.
The agreement was signed by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige; Minister of State for Education, Prof. Anthony Anwukah; President of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Comrade Samson Ugokwe; President of the National Association Academic Technologists (NAAT), Sani Suleiman and General Secretary of Non Academic Staff Union (NASU), Peters Adeyemi.
The workers embarked on indefinite strike on December 4, 2017 as a result of failure of government to implement some of the contents of the agreement of 20th September, 2017 with JAC.
“Government is to source for N8billion within five (5) weeks to pay JAC of SSANU, NAAT and NASU members and members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) and University of Ilorin (UNILORIN), who did not get paid in the last disbursement exercise.
“The Federal Ministry of Education reported that the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF) has started payment of Salary Short falls and the process is still ongoing.
“The FME is to synergize with the concerned institutions to ensure compliance with Presidential Initiative on Continuous Audit (PICA) requirements to facilitate payments of JAC members in the Universities that are yet to comply, “a copy of the agreement had read.