Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Strike looms at college teams as FG breaches April deadline agreement with unions

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—SSANU leadership under pressure to strike
, ABUJA

The INDICATION emerged on Sunday that non-teaching staff at universities are increasing pressure on their leadership to declare a labor dispute following the alleged failure of the Federal Government to comply with the April schedule for the implementation of the Memorandum of Action, which the Ministry of Agriculture signed with the unions. .

Union members have lamented that after about 14 months the Consequential Adjustment for the new minimum wage went into effect, the government had not yet begun to implement it.

But he reliably deduced that Labor and Employment Minister Senator Chris Ngige has promised to intervene to prevent the impending strike.

Speaking to reporters over the weekend, the president of the Nigerian Universities Senior Personnel Association, SSANU, Comrade Mohammed Haruna Ibrahim confirmed the pressure from his members to resume the strike.

According to him, “We met with the government a few months ago and we understood each other after being on strike for three weeks. They put a lot of pressure on us; Lots of persuasions and we talked to the government and saw the reason to call off the strike because the government tried to paint the picture of being sincere and we needed to give them the opportunity to do one or two things to ensure that our demands are met.

“As you know, our demands are not new demands. These are things that have persisted for eleven years. We had an agreement with the government in 2009 and, to this day, many of these issues are still lagging behind; especially things that involve some payments from our allowances.

“We saw reasons to suspend because we felt that the government was sincere and the deadlines given by the government, not us, was that by the end of April most of these problems will be resolved. We continue to believe that a miracle can happen.

“Aside from many of our members being agitated, we are under a lot of pressure to go back into the trenches because even when we call on our members to interact with them, we pressure them to give the government a chance.

“We hope that the government will not let us down and paint us as liars to our members. Where the government does not meet the schedule, industrial peace cannot be guaranteed because we have been taken for a ride for too long.

“Of the seven issues that we present to the government, three or four have been handled. For example, the topic of the visitation panel: currently the panels are in all the universities. The issue of discrepancies in our salaries is also being handled by the IPPIS committee.

“But the payment of the consequent adjustments to the new national minimum wage and the bonuses that are encapsulated in our agreements contained in the bonus earned; these are still things that are being left behind and there is no end in sight, to say the least.

“While the government has tried to address some of the problems, those that affect us directly, those that involve our pockets, have not been addressed. Due to insecurity, inflation has skyrocketed. The prices of the items have changed. Our members, the little they receive in salary, they cannot even take home. By the time you make a few purchases, your money has run out.

“We are pleading with the government to make sure that we are not embarrassed as elders in our different unions, that all those agreements that we have reached with them and that promise to see the light of day at the end of April come to light but where not. it does, our hands are also tied as leaders.

“We never cancel the strike, we just suspend it, which means that our notice is still in the government, but at the expiration of this Memorandum of Action, all we have to do is call our people and inform them that the government has failed us. and they will tell us the next course of action to take.

“For us, in SSANU it does not attract our attention, we believe in commitments. Even when we did the strike it lasted three weeks and because we believe that things can be done differently, but when we are pushed against the wall, we may have no other reason than to react.

“As I told you, some of the problems we have with the government, all the non-monetary aspects are being handled. Clearly, we have seen it, but when it comes to giving money to members who are paying their dues by working is where the government is failing.

“For example, the payment of the consequent adjustment, the implementation of the EA in our salaries, these are the areas in which the government is still lagging and the issue of the non-remission of pension deductions. Our members who have retired cannot access their money that has been collected on their behalf and deposited in the PFA. This is a very pathetic situation.

“These are the areas where the government is still lagging and they have promised that we should give them up until the end of April, at which time the consequential adjustments would have been paid, the EA would have been implemented alongside our monthly salaries. These are the areas where we still have problems with the government. “

It was reliably inferred that Labor and Employment Minister Senator Ngige promised to dig deeper into the matter to ensure it did not lead to a strike.

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