STRIKE : FG meets SSANU, NASU, NAAT Today 11,september 2017

ABUJA – THE Federal Government Negotiation
Team will be meeting with the non teaching

staff in the Universities today as the staff
commence a nationwide strike.
The non teaching staff under the umbrella of
Joint Action Committee made up of the
National Association of Academic
Technologists, NAAT, Non-Academic Staff
Union of Educational and Associated

Institutions, NASU and the Senior Staff
Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU,
had on Thursday last week directed its
members to proceed on nationwide strike from
today as a result of unresolved issues with
government.
The three unions in the notice for the
declaration of strike accused the Federal
Government of neglecting the agreements it
freely entered into with the unions since 2009
and the refusal of government to obey the
judgment of the National Industrial Court that
called for the reinstatement of sacked teachers
of University Staff Schools.
But the non academic staff last night told
Vanguard that they were not aware of any
meeting with the government team.
Chairman of JAC of the three unions Comrade
Samson Chijioke Ugwoke told Vanguard that
there was no invitation to the unions for a
meeting with the government team.
This was contrary to information from the
Deputy Director, Press, Ministry of Labour and
Employment, Samuel Olowookere who said that
the unions will be meeting with the government
team by 3pm today.
Recall that the threat notice by the three
university affiliate unions was signed by
Comrades Sani Suleiman, National President of
NAAT, Chris Ani, President of NASU and
Samsom Chijioke Ugwoke, President of SSANU.
Chairman of JAC of the three unions and
National President of SSANU, Comrade Ugwoke
lamented that every effort made by the unions
for government to see reasons for
implementing the 2009 agreements had not
yielded any result.
Ugwoke said that the unions had met with the
Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator
Chris Ngige on 18th January, 2017 at the
ministry to conclude their conciliation meeting
over the ultimatum issued by the unions
through JAC over some of the issues that were
contained in the 2009 agreements.
The JAC Chairman enumerated some of the
contentious issues to include: “The payment of
Earned Allowances to non teaching members of
staff in universities and inter-university centres.
Increased funding of our Universities in line
with UNESCO standards, improvement of
infrastructure in our Universities and
implementation of CONTISS 14 and 15 for
Technologists.”
Also contained in the agreement was a review
of the governance system in our universities as
the unions were of the view that “The present
faulty governance system is what accounts for
the dilemma which our universities presently
find themselves.”
Ugwoke cited instance of the alleged
usurpation of non teaching staff functions by
their teaching staff counterparts, which he said
made the teaching staff to deviate from their
primary assignment of teaching and research.
Continuing he said, “Another is the faulty and
skewed constitution of membership of
university governing councils which have led to
poor decision making and poor administration
of the universities with the attendant result of
deterioration of standards and the quality.”
The unions said, “Following the agreements, we
had for eight years patiently and
understandingly awaited action from
government to consummate the terms of the
agreements. Unfortunately, the government has
not been responsive to these issues and where
actions appear to have been taken on any of
them, they have been implemented in breach.
“In between time, we had engaged in various
consultations and dialogues with government
on the issues at stake. Letters had been written
and protests had been made to no avail.

Through various organs of government,
particularly the offices of the Secretary to the
Federation, SGF, Ministry of Education and
Ministry of Labour and Employment, we had
made representations on our issues which have
largely been ignored.
“Rather than heed to our demands, matters
have continued to worsen. Our Universities
have continued to deteriorate. The poor
governance system in the universities which
has brought the universities to their knees has
perpetuated itself to the point that our
rankings among the comity of World-class
Universities are deplorable.
“Corruption has taken its toll in the University
system while the infrastructure and facilities
are nothing to write home about. While JAC
acknowledges and is supportive of the Federal
Government’s fight against corruption, we
believe that there is more to be done to ensure
that individuals found culpable should be dealt
with according to the law, while whistleblowers
should be protected.
“For all these malaise and others we have cried
out to no avail. The welfare of our members
has been neglected. A vivid example of the
provocation experienced in the hands of
government is over the University Staff
Schools. In 2015, the National Salaries, Income
and Wages Commission acting on behalf of the
Federal Government directed heads of
institutions and agencies to stop the inclusion
of workers in the University Staff Schools from
payrolls of their institutions.

“Based on this directive, over two thousand of
our members were technically retrenched from
the services of the Federal and State
Governments which employed them through
their University Governing Councils. This
directive was also in gross contravention of the
agreements reached with the University Staff
Unions on the Status of Staff Schools.
“in line with decent labour practice, we declared
a trade dispute which resulted in government
referring the relevant clauses in the 2009
Agreements to the National Industrial Court for
interpretation. Following one year of legal
exchange, the National Industrial Court on
5thDecember, 2006, ruled that the Government
must continue to fund the recurrent and capital
costs of University Staff Schools in line with
the agreement.
“rather than respect and obey the rule of law,
Government kept mute despite series of
communications on the issue to the Honourable
Ministers of Education, Labour and Employment
and the Executive Secretary of the National
Universities Commission.
“Having comprehensively cleared from our
members and gotten a direction from them, we
hereby announce that the JAC of NAAT, NASU
and SSANU has directed its members to
embark on a comprehensive, total and
indefinite strike action effective from Monday,
11th September 2017.
“During the strike, there shall be no provision
of services no matter how skeletal.
Concessions shall not be granted while all our
members are stay at home till further notice
unless as directed by JAC through their
respective presidents..

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here