Non-teaching staff in public universities will on Tuesday, embark on three-day nationwide protests over the Federal Government’s handling of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, sharing formula of the N40 billion earned academic allowances and non-payment of arrears of the new minimum wage.
The workers under the Joint Action Committee which is made up of the Academic Technologists (NAAT), Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities, (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) said other contentious issues that informed the decision include inconsistencies in IPPIS payment and the delay in the renegotiation of the FGN/ASUU/SSANU 2009 Agreement.
Others are the 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.
The committee directed all its branches to mobilise the members on Monday for the rallies nationwide.
According to the JAC, the decision to embark on the protest was taken on Friday night at a meeting by the leadership of NASU and SSANU, in Abuja, where they reviewed the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the Federal Government on October 20, 2020.
In a communique signed by SSANU President, Mohammed Ibrahim, and the General Secretary of NASU, Prince Peters Adeyemi, the committee added that the unions would
consider other measures, including embarking on an indefinite strike, after the protests.
The JAC was expected to meet on Thursday to review the success of the protest and deliberate on the next step.
Already, the unions have notified the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, who is the conciliator between the FG and the unions of their intention to embark on the protests.
Also, NAAT has notified the minister of its decision to embark on a 14 day strike to press home its demands last week.
The government in December approved N40 billion earned allowances for the four university unions and allegedly allocated 75 per cent of the amount to the Academic Staff Union of Universities, leaving 25 percent for the other three unions.
But this did not go down well with the NASU, SSANU, and NAAT as they rejected the sharing formula and threatened to ground the universities.
Prince Adeyemi told reporters on Friday that the unions will ground academic activities on campuses when universities reopen on January 18.
He said like ASUU, the unions’ strike could drag for a year if the government refused to address their grievances.
Adeyemi however said the government still had till Sunday next week to correct all the wrongs identified by the unions before universities reopen.