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Earned allowances: SSANU pleads for release of funds

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Senior university workers, under that aegis of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Plateau State University chapter have called on the state Governor and Visitor to the university, Simon Bako Lalong to release funds for the payment of the Earned Allowances to staff of the university without further delay. The branch Chairman of the association, Comrade Timnan Rimdap, while briefing journalists in Jos, urged Governor Lalong to also pay the arrears of gratuity owed staff of the university.

While expressing gratitude to the Pro-Chancellor/Chairman of Council, Prof. Attahiru Jega for his labourfriendly attitude, he pleaded with the Council to carry out a comprehensive audit of placements in the university, saying some placements were done without recourse to the provisions of the scheme of service.

“We have seen several professional accountants placed on Grade Level 8 in violation of the provisions of the scheme of service, which places them on Grade Level 9. We have seen some situations where professional accountants were also converted to the executive cadre in violation of the scheme of service.

Our members have been shortchanged for far too long,” the Chairman lamented.Rimdap, who blamed the development on the exclusion of unions from the composition of the committee saddled with the responsibility of undertaking such tasks, however, added:

“If unions were included in the membership of the Appointment and Promotion Committee, such things would not happen.” Similarly, the union leader also urged the Governing Council to include members of SSANU in the composition of the Disciplinary Committee and any other committee constituted to amend the university extant law, condition of service and scheme of service. Rimdap said: “We were surprised to have been excluded from the composition of the committee constituted to amend our own condition and scheme of service.

That decision was inconsistent with the collective bargaining principle, which is deeply enshrined in Nigeria and International Labour Laws. “Conditions of Service should be a product of collective bargaining, not unilateral imposition.” The SSANU chair also called on the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Yohanna Izam to immediately constitute a Pension and Gratuity Board in line with the recommendations of the committee constituted to advise the management on the operation of the scheme. “We are being told that our gratuity funds have been lying idle for years without being invested.

And, if that is true, then we are losing value on a daily basis which is unacceptable. We are also not unaware of the fact that the governing council directed, five years ago, that the board should be constituted to invest the funds. We want that board constituted immediately,” the SSANU Chairman said.

The union, which also decried what it described as the “unnecessary delay” in commencing the deduction for the National Housing Fund contribution, said: “Having requested management to commence the deduction since August, last year, we are surprised that up till this moment, the deduction has not commenced, thereby denying our members the benefits of the scheme.”

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