The senior staff association of Nigeria universities, SSANU, will on Monday, December 17, 2018, commence a three days nationwide protest over the Federal Government disobedience to court judgment on staff schools and also the inability of government to keep to agreements especially on Earned Allowance.
The resolution to embark on the protest was reached at the 35th regular National Executive Council, NEC, meeting held at the Enugu State University of Science and Technology.
SSANU in the resolution signed by its National President, Comrade Samson Chijioke Ugwoke and the National Public Relations Officer, Comrade Abdussobur Salaam, accused the Federal Government of disobeying judgment of the National Industrial Court, Abuja, that had two years ago asked that teachers in University Staff Schools that were sacked by government should be reinstated.
The union accused the federal government of being adamant in honouring the judgment to recall the sacked teachers of staff schools.
SSANU President, Comrade Ugwoke, further said that the government has not released the N8 billion Earned Allowance it promised to them.
Recall that the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige had as part of the resolution reached at a conciliation meeting on March 13, 2018, announced that the Federal Government will pay the three non teaching staff N8 billion as their Earned Allowance.
But several months after the agreement was reached, the money was yet to be released and SSANU said that the delay in the payment had become a source of discomfort and agitation by members of the three unions, and has also become a source of embarrassment for the leadership.
The resolution read, “The Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Education had informed the Chairman of the Joint Action Committee of NAAT, NASU and SSANU via a letter dated August 9, 2018, that approval had been given for the release of Eight Billion Naira being payment of Earned Allowances for Non- Teaching Staff in the Universities and requested for templates for the payments to the unions.”
Continuing, it said, “it appears that the letters being sent to the unions are a delay ploy by the Federal Ministry of Education as the letters in themselves are needless, because the unions had always made their positions known since the irregular disbursement of N23 billion to ASUU in 2017.”
On the technical dismissal of members in the University Staff schools, it said “the status of the workers in the University Staff Schools remained the same despite the National Industrial Court ruling of December 5, 2016, which had ruled that the workers in the University Staff Schools are employees of the Federal Government as the Staff Schools remain an integral part of the University system.”
SSANU, said it was unfortunate that the federal government has continued to show apathy and disinterest in all other aspects of the Memoranda of Understanding reached between it and the union.
“Members have been fully mobilised to participate in the protests, while branches are advised to carry along the media and the security agencies accordingly,” it stated.
The union in the resolution stated that it had comprehensively reviewed the status of the various MoU’s signed between it and the Federal Government in respect of the actualization of the 2009 agreement reached by the duo.
Noting that another letter was received dated October 24, 2018, from the ministry requesting for a schedule of payment from the unions, it said, “SSANU in particular and JAC (Joint Action Committee) in general, had always maintained that disbursement of funds for allowances are not within the purview of unions and that the Government rather than request for templates or schedules from the unions, should rather rely on the submissions of the Universities on Earned Allowances as earlier sent to the Ministry and the NUC.
According to the union, “This is because only the University authorities (Councils and Managements) can determine which staff is entitled to what allowance, as that is what makes it earned.”
SSANU said that the delay in the payment had become a source of discomfort and agitation by members of the three unions, while it had also become a source of embarrassment for the leaderships.
It also said that the Federal Government has continued to show disdain and contempt for Court Rulings, the case of the Staff School workers being an example and that the members of staff domiciled in the University Staff Schools, numbering over two thousand, have been subjected to trauma, insecurity and denials of salaries, some going to upward of a year, a situation that the union cannot continue to accept.
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