The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) said it expects the Federal Government to pay salary arrears for the four months their industrial action lasted.
Mr Peters Adeyemi, General Secretary of NASU, said this while addressing a news conference at the union ongoing National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Wednesday in Abuja.
Adeyemi said that NEC expects the federal government to make arrangements for payment of the salary arrears.
According to NASU, since all parties within the University system have suspended their industrial actions, it behooves on government to start reviewing those hard stance it took while the tertiary institutions were under lock and key.
“A moratorium was given to the federal government which will elapses by November 2022. “This should serve as a veritable opportunity for government to sit down and begin to address the existing demands by the unions, one of which is the salary arrears, ’’he said.
Adeyemi also said that under no circumstance would the government sweep the issue under the carpet, especially when the government obliged the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) similar gesture after they suspended their two months strike.
He also added that, I have confidence as a union person that those salaries will be paid, because it has been paid to the guys in the health sector which was for two months.
“The Minister of Labour and Employment also facilitated the payment and he is still there, I am confident he will facilitate this payment, ’’he said.
Earlier, Dr Hassan Makolo, National President of NASU also said that the decision to embark on strike does not come easy for unionists.
He added that trade unions do not just embark on strike to play to the gallery, contrary to the erroneous belief of the public.
According to him, this is because it is done at great cost to their members and the unions.
“Those who think it is easy to go on a strike should think of staying for four, five or more months without a salary or an income.
“Think of what that does to the household of a breadwinner who is taking part in a strike without a salary, in terms of feeding, medicals, transportation, children school fees, aged parents and other relations to cater for, as well as the landlord.
“Moreover, most of the children in public universities and other tertiary institutions are our children.
“Whereas the children of our employers and other government functionaries who are expected to resolve the grievances of unions in the public sector are either studying in universities abroad or are in private universities here at home, ’’he said.
He also noted that on the part of the union, the management of the affairs of the union continues, including the management of the strike without ‘ check-off dues.
He said that the actions and inactions of public officials foisted a needless strike on members of NASU in the Universities and Inter-University Centres.
He therefore said that the strike would not have started in the first place, if they did what was expected of them.
Hassan also said that the era of strikes would only be mitigated effectively if collective bargaining in the educational and allied institutions sectors are institutionalised.
He added that this was one of the demands they put before the Federal Government, which members of the Federal Government Renegotiating Team rejected.
He went further to state that government teams should always come to the collective bargaining table with fidelity, including implementing agreements it freely entered into with NASU.
“Over two months after the Agreement signed by the Federal Government with the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of NASU and SSANU, that resulted in the suspension of the four months old strike.
“We have observed that the processes expected to be put in place for the actualisation of the content of the Agreement are yet to be put in place.
“We therefore use the opportunity of the ongoing NEC meeting to call on the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu.
“He is to ensure that the processes for the implementation of the Agreement commence immediately before the members of NASU will start another round of agitation,’’he said.
He also added that, we hope that some other industrial relations issues within the sector which the government is aware of will be amicably resolved within a minimum time frame.
The University of Ilorin (Unilorin) chapters of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) have said they suspended the industrial actions to give the Federal Government time to implement the agreements it reached with the university workers.
Mr Naheem Falowo, the Unilorin-SSANU Chairman, stated this on Monday while fielding questions from newsmen in Ilorin.
Faliwo explained that the decision to suspend the protracted industrial dispute was informed by the need to enable the federal government some time to implement the agreements comprehensively.
He noted that government accepted to put machinery in motion for the onward implementation of all the eight-point demands before it.
The SSANU chairman, who is also staff of the Bursary Department of Unilorin, explained that the government accepted to work towards a remarkable improvement in the welfare of staff of state-owned universities as demanded by the unions.
Also speaking, Mr Ibrahim Suberu, the NASU Chairman of Unilorin, said the federal government equally promised in the agreements voluntarily signed with the unions to implement the agreed percentage increment in the salaries of university staff without any exception as from Sept. 1, 2022. Suberu also disclosed that the government has approved the release of N50 billion for the payment of earned allowances.
He added that the unions were assured the money would be shared among federal government-owned universities for onward payment to all their staff members and without any form of discrimination in its disbursement between the academic staff and their non-teaching counterparts as witnessed in the past.
The NASU chairman pointed out that the sustained efforts of the unions also eventuated in the federal government’s realisation of the absurdities that have characterised the implementation of the Integrated Personnel Payment Information System (IPPIS).
He added that one of the successes of the strike was that the government was now poised more than ever before to have a rethink on the IPPIS as it has empowered a committee chaired by the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, Prof. Issa Pantami.
According to him, this is to harmonise the payment platforms jointly proposed by SSANU and NASU and the one put forward by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The Joint Action Committee,(JAC), of the Non Academic Staff Union of Education and Associated Institutions, NASU, and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, said it would suspend its ongoing strike on Wednesday.
The JAC’s spokesman, Mr Peters Adeyemi, said this in a statement made available to newsmen on Saturday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the unions had embarked on strike since March 27, to press home their demands.
The workers’ demands include renegotiation of 2009 agreements with the Federal Government; inconsistencies occasioned by IPPIS, and replacement of the payment platform with the University Peculiar Personnel Payroll System (U3PS), and non-payment of earned allowances.
Others are payment of arrears of national minimum wage; release of whitepapers on visitation panel reports.
Others are reinstatement of staff schools’ teachers in line with the National Industrial Court judgement; poor funding and governance of state universities, among others.
Adeyemi said the the decision to to suspend the strike was taken following negotiation between the unions and the Federal Government team led by the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu.
According to him, the suspension of the strike was for the initial two months to allow government implement the agreements reached.
“Part of the agreement is the decision of the government to set aside the sum of N50 billion for the payment of earned academic and earned allowances, cogent decision on the University Peculiar Personnel Payroll System (U3PS).
”Release of the whitepaper on university visitation panel and funding of the universities.
”On the poor funding of federal institutions, the Minister directed the National Universities Commission (NUC), to ensure that all the schools are up-to-date on what they are supposed to do.
”Otherwise sanctions will be visited on any institution that defaults.
“The Minister of Education also gave an assurance that no member of the unions that participated in the strike will be victimised,” he said.
Adeyemi also added that the minister said President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to devoting 15 per cent of the national budget to education.
He said, ”on the salary payment system, the minister said the alternative payment systems provided by ASUU, JAC of NASU and SSANU did very well.
”The minister also said the Federal Government was awaiting the report of the technical committee it set up before taking action on the matter.
”After prolonged negotiations and dialogue between the two unions and the Federal Government led Adamu and after the meeting, the two unions decided to suspend the strike for the initial period of two months.
“When we presented the offers that the government made to our members, they think that since the majority of the issues that are in contention have been substantially addressed by the government, the strike is hereby suspended effective on Aug. 24,” he said.
Similarly, SSANU in a statement signed by its President, Mr Mohammed Ibrahim, said the meeting between the government and the unions was satisfactory.
Ibrahim said, ”today, having satisfied ourselves that government, this time around has committed itself to agreeing to respect the agreements that have been reached at the meetings.
“‘We believe that it is only honourable that we give the government the benefit of the doubt, while the needful was being done at the government’s end.
“To this end, we hereby inform you of a two months window given to the government to actualize the agreements that have been reached.
”The two months window is in the nature of a ceasefire and does not represent a closure on the industrial action.
“It is our sincere prayer, given the assurance made by the Minister of Education and our commitment to ensure an end to the ongoing impasse.
”That the two months opportunity will suffice for actions to be taken and the entire matter laid to rest.
“In view of the above, NASU and SSANU members are hereby directed to resume duties on Wednesday, Aug. 24, ‘he said.
The Kwara chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has urged the Federal Government to implement the agreement it signed with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to rescue the dying tertiary education system in the country.
The NLC Chairman, Comrade Aliyu Issa-Ore, made the appeal on Tuesday in Ilorin during its solidarity protest with ASUU.
He recalled that the government had signed an agreement with ASUU some years back on university revitalisation and other sundry issues.
“Just implement what you signed and let the students go back to school.
It is becoming frustrating and unbearable seeing students becoming idle.
“Federal Government should try and honour the agreement for the sake of the students.
University workers deserve the best,” he said.
The Chairman of ASUU, University of Ilorin, Prof. Moyosore Ajao, commended the NLC for supporting their cause.
Ajao described ASUU’s demands as legitimate and should be urgently addressed to rescue Nigeria’s educational system.
He said that the struggle belonged to the entire nation and not ASUU alone, urging the public to join hands to rescue education from collapse in our country.
“No nation would grow beyond its intellectual capacity.
Government should stop seeing education as optional,” he said.
NAN reports that the protest witnessed a massive turn out of union members, including NLC, ASUU, NASU, SANU and other allied unions.
The union members marched through the Post Office, Challenge, A-Division Round About, Ahmadu Bello Way and Government House, Ilorin, to submit their appeal letter to the Federal Government through Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq.
The Kwara Council of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) says it will hold a mega nationwide rally on Tuesday in solidarity with the striking workers in public universities.
This is contain in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria in Ilorin on Monday.
The statement is jointly signed by the State NLC Chairman, Comrade Aliyu Issa-Ore, and Chairman, Rally Mobilisation Committee, Comrade Rafiu Adeniran.
According to the statement, the rally will take off at 7.30 a.m at the state NLC Secretariat beside the High Court in Ilorin.
The statement noted that the rally would fast track quick resolution of the issues that precipitated the lingering industrial action in the university system.
“We are disturbed that the strike had made students in public universities idle.
There is upsurge in crimes mostly perpetrated by the youths.
“We want Federal Hovernment to honour the agreement between it and the aggrieved university workers to end the prolong strike,” said the Kwara NLC.
The statement, however, appealed to affiliate unions of NLC, civil society groups and non-governmental organisations to mobilise their members in large numbers for the rally.
NAN recalls that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) had embarked on industrial action ove demands for improved welfare and infrastructure in public universities, among others.
The Committee of Unions in Tertiary Institutions (CUTI) has distanced itself from the ongoing strike action in Colleges of Education.
A statement from CUTI Chairman, Mr Oladimeji Gegele, and the Secretary, Comrade Issa Mariam on Friday in Ilorin, said Gov.
AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq’s administration has done well for the education sector, even if there are always room for improvement.
According to the statement, the union also dissociated itself from the recent comment of the Joint Academic Staff Union in Tertiary Institutions (JASUTI).
“CUTI wishes to dissociate herself from a press release where the Governor was unnecessarily castigated by JASUTI (COEASU).
”We wish to set the record straight that His Excellency is committed to the development of Tertiary Education in Kwara State.
“As a Committee of Unions, it would be ungrateful of us to ignore the landmark and purposeful concern of the present administration in the advancement of Tertiary Education in the state,” the statement read in part.
It noted that AbdulRazaq’s administration has shown reasonable commitment in resolving issues inherited from the last administration.
“So far, the government has shown reasonable commitment in resolving issues inherited from the last administration some of which included payment of outstanding salaries to workers of all the colleges.
”Also, there was a release of N70 million to the managements of Colleges of Education, Ilorin, Oro, Lafiagi and College of Arabic and Islamic Legal Studies (CAILS), this year.
”This is as a special grant in support of NUC accreditation for affiliated degrees courses in the colleges,” the statement read.
On the implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage and consequential adjustment, the statement said the Office of the Head of Service had inaugurated the negotiation committee on June 2, 2022.
”The committee comprises all the relevant Unions NASU, SSUCOEN and COEASU and negotiation is at its final phase.
”We are working on the draft of the agreement to seal the negotiation process and commence implementation of minimum wage with effect from July 1, 2022.
”We however urged the Government to consider an upward review of the monthly subvention to all colleges and release funds for the implementation of the agreement reached with government soonest.
“We wish to pledge our unalloyed loyalty to the government while engaging in dialogue to resolve all pending issues,” it stressed.
The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the Non-Teaching Unions has expressed dissatisfaction at the Prof.
Nimi Briggs-led Committee Report submitted to the Federal Government for approval.
The JAC non-teaching unions include the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Allied Institutions (NASU).
JAC Chairman, Mr Peters Adeyemi made this known at a news conference on Friday in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that SSANU and NASU had embarked on strike for over four months over non-implementation of agreement reached with the unions.
The Briggs Committee was constituted in March by the Federal Government to oversee the negotiations with the four university-based unions and the committee had submitted its report over a month ago.
Adeyemi, who is also NASU General Secretary, alleged that the unions were aggrieved that Briggs-led committee’s negotiations processes were biased and their members were not dully involved.
He said that NASU and SSANU had only two meetings with the Briggs committee since it was constituted.
According to him, it was shocking to say the least that while we have not even commenced discussions on salary review and other allowances.
“We received reports that the committee had gone ahead to submit a report to the Federal Government recommending a 10 per cent increase for Non-Teaching Unions.
“We find the committee as not being transparent and open so far, ’’he said.
He said after the first meeting, the two unions – NASU and SSANU independently were compelled to create the impression that the committee appeared not to have had its mandates clearly spelt out by the government.
The JAC chairman noted that the two meetings held with the Briggs committee with the unions, there were no deliberations on salary increment and allowances.
“While the NASU and SSANU teams had presented Memorandum of Demands that included proposal for salary review along with appropriate salary tables.
“The committee had pleaded that the two unions should take the issue of review of salaries and allowances last.
“This is because we were still interfacing with the relevant government agencies to give them appropriate offers to counter our proposals on salary review, ’’he said.
He therefore said that it should be stated clearly that SSANU and NASU rejected any salary recommendation that would cause further disparity in the university system.
Adeyemi added that there was already an existing disparity in the system, “which we had always closed our eyes to”.
He said to expand that disparity would be “an invitation to the greatest level of anarchy and industrial unrest ever witnessed in the university system.” He however urged NITDA to accelerate the processing and come up with its findings in order to lay to rest the contentious issues of a viable and enduring payment platform best suited for the Nigerian University system, ’’ he said.
He further stated that it was not the desire of NASU and SSANU to ground the system but was compelled by alleged ill treatment on the university system.
He noted that as of today, out of the eight issues that led to the strike, none of them had been conclusively addressed by government.
“Arrears of Consequential Adjustments on Minimum Wage have only been partially paid, as in many universities, we still have many members who have not been paid,” he said.
Adeyemi said that the Federal Universities of Agriculture had been totally left out as no arrears of earned allowances had been paid.
According to him, white Papers on Visitation Panels have not been released.
Staff School teachers continue to languish despite a court judgment in their favour.
“Our jobs continue to be usurped by Vice-Chancellors as job for the boys and allocated to Academic Staff.
“State universities have been badly hit by poor funding, poor governance and non-payment of salaries to workers spanning into months,’’ he said.
He said that JAC of NASU and SSANU were determined to change the status quo..
“We are remaine undaunted and undeterred in the face of our salaries that have been stopped and threats issued to the unions from various quarters,’’ he said.
He also commended the Nigeria Labour Congress for its various interventions in ensuring resolution of the
The National Union of Civil Engineering Construction, Furniture and Wood Workers (NUCECFWW) has threatened to shut down activities in the construction industry in solidarity with striking unions in the education sector.
NUCECFWW made the threat in a statement jointly signed by its National President, Mr Stephen Okoro, and General Secretary, Mr Ibrahim Walama, on Friday.
The union said that it was putting its members at alert for the solidarity strike in line with the decision of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC).
“We wish to state unequivocally that our union shall, in solidarity with ASUU, NASU, SSANU, and in alliance with NLC, shut down activities in the construction industry.
“This is in solidarity with unions in the education sector, to drive home their demands for improved welfare package and effective sustenance of Nigerian universities development goal,” it said.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the striking unions in the education sector include Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Allied Institutions (SANU).
NUCECFWW expressed worry that the lingering ASUU strike would impact negatively on students’ academic performances.
It said that halting learning for a long time would affect students’ reading abilities.
“As the technology landscape of universities continues to develop, students increasingly depend on them for assistance in the development of skills required in a digital age instead mere content.
“It is common knowledge that the contemporary world is becoming too dynamic for any nation to be left behind the curve of acquiring and appropriating scientific and technical knowledge through higher institutions of learning for all-round development.
“Unfortunately, with strike characterising the Nigerian public university system, it is doubtful to believe that they can measure up to the task of keeping pace with the global trajectory,“ the union said.
It urged the Federal Government to resolve conflicts with ASUU, NASU and SSANU without further delay.
NAN reports that ASUU embarked on strike on Feb.
14 over Federal Government’s non-implementation of a memorandum of understanding and memorandum of action it signed with the union.
ASUU is seeking the government’s commitment to payment of Academic Earned Allowances.
The union is dissatisfied with the government’s refusal to adopt Universities Transparency and Accountability Solution.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has urged President Muhammadu Buhari to meet with the Prof. Nimi Briggs-led Committee on negotiation.
ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osekede said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Tuesday in Abuja.
NAN reports that the Briggs committee which was set up by the Federal Government on June 7, is renegotiate the 2009 Agreement with ASUU and submit its report to the Education Minister, Malam Adamu Adamu in three months.
NAN also reports that Buhari had in a statement issued by the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Media and Publicity, Malam Garba Shehu, saying “truly, enough is enough for keeping students at home.’’
Osedeke said:”I do not understand why Mr President said that “enough is enough’’, when we are not the one delaying the students at home.
“The federal government had sent its team to negotiate with us and we have finished. Instead of coming back to us to tell us the outcome of the meeting, we are hearing this.
“If you set up a committee to negotiate on your behalf, and the committee has finished and they have brought the information to you to sign and then you said enough is a enough, what does this mean,’’he asked.
He urged Buhari to meet the negotiation teams and to sign the report.
NAN reports that the Briggs-led committee is expected to review the draft proposed Agreement, has the following Terms of Reference, liaise and consult with relevant stakeholders to finalise the position of the Federal Government to the issues in the draft proposed Renegotiated Agreement.
It is also to renegotiate in realistic and workable terms the 2009 Agreements with other University-Based Unions; negotiate and recommend any other issue the Committee deems relevant to reposition the NUC for global competitiveness; and submit proposed draft agreements within three months from the date of inauguration.
NAN reports that ASUU, among other unions in the education sector began ongoing strike on Feb. 14, after the federal government failed to meet some of its demands including, the release of revitalisation funds for universities, renegotiation of the 2009 agreement, release of earned allowances for university lecturers, and deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution.
The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and other Allied Institutions (NASU) have also requested the adoption of University Peculiar Payroll Payment System (U3PS).
The committee is chaired by Brigs, Pro-Chancellor, Alex Ekweme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi.
Other members are Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Wukari, Arc. Lawrence Patrick Ngbale, who represents North East; Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Birnin Kebbi, Prof. Funmi Togunu-Bickersteth, representing South West and Pro-Chancellor, Federal University, Lokoja, Senator Chris Adighije, representing South East.
Also on the team are Pro-Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, Minna, Prof. Olu Obafemi from North-Central; Pro-Chancellor, Kano State University of Science & Technology, Prof. Zubairu Iliyasu, representing North West; and Pro-Chancellor, Niger Delta University, Wilberforce Island, Mathew Seiyefa from South-South.
Mr Issa Aremu, the Director-General, Michael Imoudu National Institute for Labour Studies (MINILS), has advised striking research institutes across Nigeria to embrace social dialogue in resolving incessant strikes by unions.
Aremu gave the advice in Ilorin on Monday during an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on the sidelines of industrial strike actions embarked by unions nationwide, including MINILS.
The Research Institutes Unions includes the Joint Research and Allied Institutions Sector Unions (JORAISU), and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU).
Others include the Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAI), and the Academic Staff Union of Research Institutions (ASURI).
Aremuò, who observed that the demands of the unions are legitimate, however added that there was need to re-look into the method of strike actions by the unions for the past three years.
“As an agency of labour, MINILS is ready to facilitate the quick resolutions of these strike actions,’’ the director-general said.
Aremu said a parley titled: “Invitation to a One-Day Fact Finding Parley on the Current Industrial Dispute in the Nation’s Research Institutions’’, was aimed at ending the strike.
“The one-day parley is aimed at seeking pathways to end the on-going industrial action by JORAISU members.
“MINILS desires this intervention firstly as fact-finding measure to assist the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment in its mandatory role.
“The point cannot be overstated that the current crisis is surmountable through facts driven processes that include the parties in social dialogue.
“MINILS’s accumulated experience in industrial relations, and related collective bargaining, social dialogue, conflict management, labour and employment laws positions the institute to facilitate this problem solving interaction,’’ he said.
In her reaction, Mrs Roselyn Adebayo, the NASU Chairman, MINILS stated that the industrial action was national and MINILS workers have decided to abide by the instructions from the national body.
“It has been quite long that we have been demanding that the Federal Government fulfill our demands including retirement age increase to 65 years for non-research staff as obtainable in the universities and others.
“We have seven items of our demand but the government is not responding to us,’’ she said.
Mr Joel Afolayan, the NASU Secretary, added that there were peculiar and earned allowances that government has not paid workers.
He said there was need for adequate funding of research institutes and release of of service, among others.
“We don’t have a commission dedicated to research institutes in Nigeria as member institutions in that subsector cuts across seven Federal Ministries,’’ he said.
“Labour’s demands also include payment of 12-month Consolidated Research and Allied Institutions Salary Structure (CONRAISS) arrears of 53.37 per cent increase and withdrawal of circular on non-skipping of salary Grade Level 10,’’ he said.