THE Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has used the occasion of 2023 Workers’ Day to charge the Federal Government on embracing industrial harmony by implementing agreements reached with unions and also desist from actions inimical to industrial peace.
In a message to commemorate Workers’ Day with SSANU members across the country, the National President of the association, Comrade Mohammed H. Ibrahim, listed issues that may lead to strike action. He said the issues include government refusal to pay withheld four months salaries, re-negotiation of the 2009 agreement, disparity in the payment of 40 percent pay rise, non-payment of the N50 billion Earned Allowances.
Comrade Ibrahim said, “Despite a hostile environment in which we operate, we remain undeterred in our quest to contribute to the building of a great country. Our members have continued to report for duty in the most security challenging parts of Nigeria. It is a pity that the Federal Government has remained adamant in the payment of withheld four months salaries during the nationwide strike in 2022.
“SSANU complied with all industrial legal protocol before embarking on strike when the government reneged on its part of the bargain. We have made every effort for the government to see the reason we should be paid our rightful due all to no avail. We are once again calling on the government to urgently pay the withheld salaries without further delay. The insensitivity of the government to the plight of workers is provocative and unbearable.
“Since we suspended the strike last year, the issue of re-negotiation of the 2009 agreement has not yielded any result. It appears the Federal Government does not like the industrial harmony in the universities. We are calling on the government to, without any delay, ensure that the renegotiation is urgently concluded and implemented.
“On the 40 percent pay rise, it is unfathomable that why some workers have started receiving their payment, our members are yet to receive theirs. We call on the government to ensure that our members receive their own payment as soon as possible. If not, we can no longer guarantee industrial harmony in the universities.
“We should also place it on record that the N50 billion Earned Allowances which the government promised last year is yet to be paid. We are using this opportunity to tell the government to release it as quickly as possible as further delay will not be helpful to the system.
“The morale of university workers is dampened by the inability of the government to create a conducive environment in the university system. Our members work under harsh conditions, yet they put in their best to ensure that our students don’t suffer. Government appears to be paying lip service to funding education.
“It is very clear that the government pays more attention to frivolous things and has neglected the workers that generate the wealth of the nation and mould the future of the young generation.
“We call on the government to resolve all issues with university workers and also tackle the challenges facing the country.”
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