…NAATS warns lumping it with other unions
By Johnbosco Agbakwuru
THE non-teaching workers in the universities Tuesday threatened to resume their suspended strike if the federal government does not reverse the sharing formula for the N22.127 billion Earned Allowances approved for the four universities based unions.
Recall that the Federal Government had in the sharing formula alloted 75 percent of the N22,127 billion to the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU and the remaining 25 percent to the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU and the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT.
While the three non teaching unions have rejected the sharing formula, NAAT has called on the government not to lump its share with any other unions.
Speaking at its National Executive Council, NEC meeting in Abuja, the President of NASU, Dr Makolo Hassan, decried the alleged injustice against the non teaching workers in the sharing formula.
According to him, “The unending crisis associated with the unjustified sharing formula of the Earned Allowance in the Universities and Inter-University Centres calls to question the sincerity of this Government toward the fight against corruption.
“It is clear to us that Government officials do not give premium to issues of equity, fairness, natural justice and good conscience. Close to five years, the Non-Teaching Staff Unions in the Universities and Inter-University Centres have fought relentlessly over the disproportionate sharing formula of 80/20% and 75/25% to the Academic and Non-Teaching Staff in our Universities.
“We are therefore using this medium to call on the President to intervene and stop the continuous sowing of seed of inequity and distrust in the system by officials of his government. We are aware of plans to share the next round of the Earned Allowance in the same manner it was done previously.
“To continue to ignore the feelings of Non-Teaching staff in these acts of unfair treatment, will not make the feeling to go away; rather, such attitude of Government officials will continue to provoke industrial crisis in the system.
“We are making it clear, that if the Federal Government decides as usual to ignore this appeal, then Government would have forced us into resuming our suspended strike on this matter.”
In his remarks, the General Secretary of NASU, Prince Peters Adeyemi linked industrial actions in the country to non adherence to signed agreements by government.
Adeyemi lamented the non – payment of arrears of the National Minimum Wage signed by President Muhammadu Buhari into law in 2019.
He appealed to the federal government to honour all agreements reached to avoid industrial unrest in the country.
He said: “The non adherence to the MoU and MoA signed by government is at the root of crisis in our education sector.
“It is not lack of education that is responsible for industrial crisis it is lack of insincerity on the part of government functionaries that is responsible for these series of industrial actions that we are seeing from one sector to the other.
“This fire brigade approach has to be put on hold. Fire brigade approach that is lacking in transparency and honesty.
“When a union gives notice of strike it is expected that the leadership of the union should be either invited or communicated.
“Everybody must do its own part of the bidding, except that is done there will be strike everywhere.
“When MoA and MoU are signed with timeline, government should do everything possible to honour those agreements. For as long as government keeps on signing agreements just to get unions to suspend their strike, after signing the agreement you go to bed, you will have more strikes. Because you cannot expect the Trade Unions to surrender.
“There is a need for this government to have a change of attitude. The way the Trade Unions in this country are being treated today is unacceptable. We should be seen as partners in progress because we create the wealth of this country.”