By Ikechukwu Odu

The Joint Action Committee, JAC, of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities, SSANU, and Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities, NASU, University of Nigeria, Nsukka, UNN, chapter, Tuesday, joined their peers nationwide on a three-day protest over failure of the Federal Government to honour 2009 Memorandum of Understanding, MoU it reached with the union.

The university workers who gathered at the Freedom Square, UNN, told Vanguard that they are equally protesting inconsistencies in the IPPIS payment, non-payment of Earned Allowances as well as non-payment of arrears of minimum wage to their members.

While addressing newsmen, the chairman of UNN-JAC, Comrade Paul Erua, said  the  protest was also hinged on the delay in renegotiation of Federal Government of Nigeria, SSANU and NASU 2009 Agreement, non-payment of retirement benefits of outgone members and non-constitution of Visitation Panels of Universities.

Comrade Erua also said “Other parastals have received the arrears of their minimum wage but not staff of the universities, Colleges of Education and Polytechnics. IPPIS have also stopped the allowances of non-teaching staff of the universities. The consolidated salaries we are taking are grossly being deducted. Alot of us have not even been paid at all.

“Our state universities are underfunded and it is affecting the quality of education our students receive.

“If the Federal Government hesitates in implementing any of our demands, we are going on full blown strike whenever universities resume. Our offices would be closed and all the essential services would be withdrawn.

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“Some of our works in the universities are equally being taken away from us. For instance, it was the non-teaching staff that manned the office of the Students Affairs Department before it was taken from us by the teaching staff. The same thing applies to Servicom. What would a professor be professing in offices like that? Federal Government should advise the Vice Chancellors not to allow teaching staff to occupy offices like that. Enough is enough! Let the teaching staff go and concentrate in research works and not take our jobs from us.”

The Treasurer of the UNN-JAC, Dr. Linus Akata, while saying that a special task force has been set up to enforce full compliance when the strike resumes, added that it would be total should federal government fail to implement their demands.

Some of the inscriptions on the placards of the protesting workers read ” Usurpation gone too bad, Professor heading Student Affairs Unit is Absurd; Pay us arrears of our minimum wage; Our state universities are underfunded, do something now; Stop all these inconsistencies in IPPIS payment; Pay our retirees their entitlements before they die; Why the delay in renegotiation of FGN/SSANU/NASU 2009 agreement?” among others.

Photo: Some of the protesting members of SSANU and NASU at UNN on Tuesday.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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