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Varsity workers set for nationwide strike over MoU

…SSANU, NASU meet next week

There are indications that the non-academic staff of Nigerian universities may declare s strike action in the coming week as all branch chairmen of its unions have been directed to summon joint congresses on Tuesday, January 19, 2021.

The congresses are to take a resolution on the possible commencement of an indefinite and total nationwide strike. The directive was contained in a circular issued by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) to its branch chairmen.

The circular was sighted by newsmen in Abuja, yesterday. According to the circular, the resolution would be based on the non-implementation of the issues contained in the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed and agreed with the unions by the Federal Government on October 20, 2020.

Also, Federal Government’s handling of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS), sharing formula of the N40 billion earned academic allowances and nonpayment of arrears of the new minimum wage, would determine the resolutions reached at congress. Other contentious issues that would inform its decsion include inconsistencies in IPPIS payment and the delay in the renegotiation of the FGN/ ASUU/ SSANU 2009 Agreement, non-payment of retirement benefits to former members, non-constitution of visitation panels to universities, poor funding of universities, teaching staff usurping the headship of non-teaching units, among others. Recall that the unions had embarked on a threeday nationwide protests, which ended on Wednesday, over the aforementioned issues.

The circular, which was signed by the Presidents of NASU, Makolo Hassan and SSANU, Mohammed Ibrahim, noted that the resolution of the congresses would be forwarded to the national secretariats of the respective unions, while a meeting of the leadership of the National JAC would further be convened on Thursday, 21, January, 2021, to collate and take decision on the branch resolutions, which will be communicated to the branches subsequently.

The circular reads: “The National JAC of NASU and SSANU met today, Thursday, 14 January, 2021, to appraise the three-day nationwide protest as decided at its meeting held on Friday, 8 January, 2021.

“Evaluating the nationwide action, the leadership of JAC commended the courage and commitment of members in effectively prosecuting the protests across the branches. “The National JAC further observed the need for members of the unions (NASU and SSANU) to take ownership of subsequent decisions in respect of the way forward after the nationwide protests. “To this end, Branch Chairmen of NASU and SSANU are hereby directed to convene joint congresses simultaneously on Tuesday 19 January, 2021, to take a resolution on the possible commencement of an indefinite and total national strike in respect of nonimplementation of the issues contained in the MoU signed and agreed with the unions by the Federal Government on 20 October, 2020. “The resolution of these congresses are to be forwarded to the National Secretariats of the respective unions via email, while a meeting of the leadership of the National JAC shall be convened on Thursday, 21 January, 2021, to collate and take decision on the branch resolutions, which shall be communicated to the branches subsequently.”

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