Academic and non-academic staff of the four tertiary institutions owned by Kaduna State Government have threatened to embark on strike over salary issues and working conditions.
The workers, under the Joint Unions of Tertiary Institutions of Kaduna State, said in a statement signed by its Chairman, Noah Danlami, on Wednesday in Kaduna.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the unions had asserted that some of the issues have remained unresolved for over 12 years.
It said that there was no appropriate salary structure for the workers, a situation that has dampened their morale.
“The consequence of this poor remuneration in our tertiary institutions has been a massive brain drain, especially academics in search of greener pastures in other institutions in the country.”
The unions said that the Kaduna State Government was yet to implement the 65 year retirement age for academic staff, which came into effect nationwide since 2010.
“It is regrettable that despite the series of reforms aimed at boosting the education sector, the state has not deemed it fit to motivate teachers and other staff of tertiary institutions.
“The government has not paid lecturers appropriate salaries nor improve the facilities in its tertiary institutions.
“We are, therefore, demanding the immediate implementation of the appropriate salary structures in all our tertiary institutions.
“The state government should also implement the 65-year retirement age without further delay and increase the staff strength in our tertiary institutions, especially academic staff incommensurate with the student’s population.
“The government should raise the budgetary allocation of tertiary institutions and ensure immediate removal of all charges paid by students of tertiary institutions from Government Treasury Single Account policy,” it stated.
According to the joint union, its next action will be to resume the indefinite strike it suspended in 2014 over the same issues, if the state government fails to respond appropriately.
The unions also commented on the mass sack of workers in the state, describing it as “very unfortunate and untimely,” considering the spate of insecurity and high-level poverty in the state.
It called on the government to immediately halt the exercise, to prevent the state from falling deeper into lawlessness due to rising poverty.
The union noted that the huge resources being sunk by the state government on urban roads, would have made instant economic impact if it was expended on rural roads and other sectors.
Rural roads would strengthen the economy much more than urban roads, it said, adding that the urban road renewal project was unnecessary given the hard economic conditions faced by the poor and vulnerable in the state.
Institutions represented under the joint union are, Nuhu Bamali Polytechnic, Zaria, College of Education, Gidan Waya, Shehu Idris College of Health Sciences Makarfi, and the state College of Nursing and Midwifery.