The Vice-Chancellor of the Delta State University (DELSU), Abraka, Prof. Victor Peretomode, has asked the Joint Action Congress (JAC) made up of the three non-academic staff unions in the University to show understanding in pressing for the payment of outstanding allowances.
Professor Peretomode asked the three unions to suspend the proposed strike in view of the fact that the University management was ready to negotiate with the unions. The Vice-Chancellor made the appeal in an interview in Abraka with our correspondent, while responding to a one week strike ultimatum issued by the unions on Tuesday.
At an enlarged meeting, the unions; the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), issued a one week ultimatum in which they asked for the payment of earned allowances or they would embark on a strike action.
According to the statement signed by the Chairman of SSANU, Comrade Monday Izu, on behalf of the unions, “Management extensively explained the very poor state of the university finances, hence her inability to entirely fund the staff welfare benefits. The University Management, however, proposed to pay the 2018 incremental step and appealed for the union’s understanding”.
The statement reads further, “Congress of SSANU, NAAT and NASU met on Tuesday, September 3, 2019, considered the proposal of management, but was unable to accept it.”
However, the Vice-Chancellor who has earned praises for prioritizing staff and students welfare and fostering a cordial relationship between unions and management has sued for peace. Professor Peretomode said: “We would have loved to attend to all the issues our dear workers are asking for, being legitimate demands, but our financial situation is not favourable at the moment.”
The DELSU VC said that the Management was open to negotiation, adding that it was on that basis that it offered to pay the 2018 incremental step in line with the resources at the disposal of the University.
Many stakeholders have joined the Vice-Chancellor in appealing to the unions to show more understanding, embrace peace and opt for negotiation. They reasoned that Professor Peretomode has been a promoter of staff development and welfare through regular payment of salaries, upgrading of work environment, sponsorship of regular training and conferences for both teaching and non-teaching staff of the University. They also pointed to the stable academic calendar that has become a tradition of DELSU as a result of the cordial working environment created by Professor Peretomode’s leadership acumen and solidarity with the unions.