Non-teaching staff in the universities under the aegis of Joint Action Committee, JAC, said they will on Tuesday begin a three-day nationwide protest over the government’s handling of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS, sharing formula of the Earned Allowances as well as other issues.
JAC comprises the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU, and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities, SSANU, has already directed all its branches to use Monday (today) to mobilize all members to ensure total compliance to the directive. The decision to embark on the protest was arrived at on Friday night at a meeting held by the leadership of NASU and SSANU, in Abuja.
The JAC at the meeting reviewed the Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, reached and signed with the Federal Government on 20th October 2020 at the Conference Room of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige. In a communique signed by the SSANU President, Comrade Mohammed Ibrahim, and the General Secretary of NASU, Prince Peters Adeyemi, JAC listed some of the contentious issues that necessitated the directive to include inconsistencies in IPPIS payments; non-payment of Earned Allowance; non-payment of arrears of new minimum wage; delay in the renegotiation of the FGN)NASU/SSANU 2009 Agreements.
Others were 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 urged union leaders across the country to use Monday to sensitise members on the need for the protest. It added that after the protest, the union members would consider other options to take including embarking on an indefinite strike. Vanguard learned that after the three-day protest, the two unions would meet on Thursday to review the success of the protest and the next step to take.
It was also gathered that the unions have notified the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Ngige, who is the conciliator between the Federal Government and the unions of their intention to embark on the protest. It will be recalled that the Federal Government on December 2020, approved N40 billion Earned Allowances for the four university-based unions and allocated a lion share of 75 percent of the amount to the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, alone, leaving 25 percent for the other three unions. This development has raised a lot of dust as NASU, SSANU and the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, rejected the sharing formula and threatened that the universities would remain under lock and key until the government corrects the alleged imbalance.