The industrial action embarked upon by members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions NASU, will not be called off on Monday as being speculated in some quarters.
Speaking with Vanguard yesterday, the National President of SSANU, Mohammed Ibrahim, said those saying the unions had agreed to call off the strike were not saying what truly transpired at the weekend’s meeting the unions held with the government team.
“Even though those speculating that used the words ‘likely to call off the strike’, but that is still not the true position of things. We did not make such a promise. What happened at the meeting was that the government team made some offers to us and as representatives of our people, our duty is to take the offers to our people.
“Those speculating that are just trying to do their jobs to please those who sent them. Their job is to prevent strike from taking place, but now we have a full blown strike on hand. After our meeting, there was no way we would have reported the outcome of the meeting and the offers to our members, as the weekend had set in and now to think we would likely call off the strike on Monday is not feasible.
“What is going to happen is that on Wednesday, we are going to meet with our people and get their opinions about the offers made. They are the ones who gave us the mandate for all we are doing and they are the ones to determine the next line of action,”he said.
Ibrahim did not comment on the claim that the government offered to add some money to the share of the two unions from the Earned Allowance that has created animosity between them and members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.
Out of the N40 billion the Federal Government earmarked for the payment of the allowance for university workers, ASUU is reportedly taking about 75 percent of the sum leaving the rest to the non-teaching staff unions.
The Minister of Labour, Dr Chris Ngige, had at the weekend said the striking workers would likely call off their strike on Monday following a meeting he had with them.
Recall that SSANU and NASU, acting on the aegis of the Joint Action Committee, JAC, started an industrial action two weeks ago after a three-day protest to press home their demands from the government.
Among the issues in contention is the call for the abolition of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS, the payment of dues of retired members, better funding of the university system, stoppage of the usurpation of non-teaching staff headship of some agencies by teaching staff among others.