By Chioma Onuegbu
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, Akwa Ibom State University chapter, ASUU-AKSU, Ikot Akpaden, Mkpat Enin local government area, has threatened to resume its suspended strike over government’s failure to honour part of its agreement as it relates to payment of November salary with the backlog of outstanding arrears.
The Vice-Chancellor of the University, Prof. Nse Essien had, in a memo issued by the institution’s registrar, Mrs Ebi Eno-Ibanga, informed staff members that the November 2021 salary would be paid within two days to Christmas without the backlog of arrears as expected.
In the memo with reference number: AKSU/Reg/S/vol.111/694, the VC apologized for the delay in the payment of November salary 2021, saying that it was not a negation of the state government’s agreement with the unions.
The state government had agreed with the Union before the suspension of the strike in June that in November 2021, it shall pay to staff of the AKSU the last tranche of the 25percent of 2020 for the remaining two months along with 100percent of November 2021 salary, adding that in December 2021, it shall pay 25percent arrears for the months of March and April 2021 along with 100percent of December 2021 salary.
But in a statement yesterday, the institution’s ASUU described the content of VC’s appeal as a clear violation of the above stated agreement which it entered with the state government on the 8th of June 2021.
The statement signed by the chairperson of ASUU-AKSU, Inyang Udosen and Secretary, Joseph Mark, rejected the proposed payment plan and threatened to resume suspended strike if the University management goes ahead with the proposed payment plan.
The statement reads in part” ASUU- AKSU categorically wishes to state that the content of the above quoted memo, if implemented, will constitute a clear violation of the agreement freely and willingly entered into by the government of Akwa Ibom state, the Akwa Ibom state University Management and JAC of all unions in the University and witnessed by the Akwa Ibom state House of Assembly on the 8th of June, 2021.
“ASUU-AKSU therefore reject in it entirety the proposed payment plan for November 2021 as stated in the memo and thus categorically state that AKSU- AKSU shall be left with no option than to immediately revisit the suspended strike in the event that the University Management goes ahead with the proposed payment plan”.
Some staff of the institution who spoke on ground of anonymity expressed annoyance over alleged non challant attitude of the university management towards their welfare.
One of them lamented, “that except the impasse is resolved within the next 48 hours, staffers of AKSU will have to celebrate this year’s Christmas without November and December salaries”