By Adesina Wahab
The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, and the Non-Academic Staff Union, NASU, have said they are rejecting the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS, the payment system introduced by the Federal Government because their expectations about it are not met.
Also, the unions accused the FG of deceiving their leadership into thinking and believing that the IPPIS would address and take cognisance of the peculiarities of the university system and thus not further compound the challenges therein.
The unions, acting under the aegis of the Joint Action Committee, JAC, stated this at the weekend at the University of Lagos, UNILAG, while mobilising and preparing for a 14-day strike which starts on Monday.
The Acting Chairman of SSANU, UNILAG, Mr Olusola Sowunmi, also said his union was not a stooge of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, and was not bound to reject or accept whatever ASUU accepts or rejects sheepishly.
“To say that we did not reject IPPIS when ASUU did so because we wanted to spite ASUU is not correct. The government called everybody to a meeting in Abuja in the Office of the Accountant General of the Federation and they demonstrated it use. All the peculiarities of the university system were captured during the test running.
“Unfortunately, since its deployment, it has been inconsistent. Nobody can say this is how much his or her salary is. Today they will pay you one naira, tomorrow, it may be 80 Kobo. All the peculiarities we have in the university system are not captured.
“ASUU opted out of the system earlier than us, but we are not ‘follow follow’ union and we are not bound to opt-out when they did,” he explained.
He alleged that the government deceived their leaders into keying into the adoption of IPPIS for the payment system in the universities.
Also speaking, the Branch Chairman of NASU, Mr Kehinde Ajibade, said the government failed to implement the payment of the new minimum wage to university workers.
Asked if the current poor economic situation in the country would not hinder the government from paying them, Ajibade noted that if the government could get money to pay political office holders and other civil servants, it must find funds to pay them.
“The government has been paying staff of other MDAs the new minimum wage and they should pay us too. If they can get money to pay political appointees without fail, let them pay us. The new minimum wage is a matter of the law. The parliament passed the law stipulating the new wage structure and it was signed into law by the President, so there is no room for default,” he said.
Listing their demands, the unions said there were a lot of inconsistencies in the payment of salaries to members, and the non-payment of Earned Allowances to members.
Others are the delay in the renegotiation of FGN/NASU and SSANU Agreements, as well as the non-payment of benefits to retired members.
They also accused the teaching staff of usurping the headship of non-teaching units.