The menace of strike and industrial actions in Nigerian education system continues to escalate as the Nigerian tertiary institution staffs under the umbrella of Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), commence a 14-day warning strike on Monday.
The two organised bodies who vowed to embark on industrial actions should tertiary institutions resume nationwide, has embarked on the journey to fulfilling their threat.
According to a letter dated 28th September 2020 and jointly signed by the General Secretary of NASU, Peters Adeyemi and SSANU President, Samson Ugwoke and addressed to branch Chairmen of of the unions, the unions said decision to embark on a 14-day warning strike was a fulfillment of their threat to begin the action as soon as the Federal Government directs universities to resume academic activities.
Moreso, the strike is promised to usher in a full blown industrial action should the Federal Government fails in addressing their grievances.
The letter reads in part: “Kindly recall earlier information on the above subject matter wherein it was conveyed that the Joint Action Committee of NASU and SSANU would embark on on a 14-day Industrial
action immediately universities resume following the COVID-19 lockdown.
“Following the recent directives from the National Universities Commission (NUC) to Vice-Chancellors for the immediate resumption/safe reopening of universities, you are hereby directed to commence a 14-day warning strike effective from 5th to 19th October 2020.”
The unions listed their grievances to include, Inconsistencies of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) in the payment of salaries of our members; non-payment of arrears of earned allowances being owed NASU and SSANU members despite various memoranda of understanding; non-payment of arrears of national minimum wage to our members and non-payment of retirement benefits to outgone members as lingering labour issues that the Federal Government has failed to address.
The non-academic staff unions also said lack of seriousness and delays by government in the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/NASU and SSANU agreements; usurpation of headship of non-teaching units by academic
staff in clear violation of conditions of service and establishment procedures; neglect and poor funding of state universities; corruption
in the university system and non-constitution of visitation panels for the universities in line with the laws as other developments that are impacting negatively on their members are reasons they are going on
14-day warning strike after which they will embark on full blown indefinite industrial action.
The letter said: “Please note that this warning strike is prelude to a full blown, total and indefinite industrial action if the grievances highlighted above are not properly addressed. JAC congresses are to be held in all branches on or before Friday, 2nd October 2020 to sensitise members and ensure the full mobilisation and compliance for
the success of the warning strike.
“Further directive shall be conveyed as matters progress.”
Meanwhile, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has also embarked on an indefinite strike since April, which began with a warning strike back in March.
ASUU still maintain its stand on the ongoing strike despite the directives from the Nigeria University Commission, NUC.