SSANU, NASU, NAAT Strike: Despite Resumption, Non-Academic Unions Of Universities Vow To Continue Industrial Action
Despite the resumption of activities across Nigerian universities on Monday, January 8, the non- teaching staff have declared that they will not be calling off the industrial action embarked upon by them about a month ago.
The non-Academic Unions – Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU as well as National Association of Academic Technologists , NAAT – insisted that the strike can only be called off if the Federal Government pays them their earned allowances totalling over N66 billion.
The unions under the unbrella of the Joint Action Commitee, JAC, also threatened to withdraw concessions it earlier granted.
The unions had commenced an indefinite strike on December 4, after it accused the government of violating an earlier agreement on the sharing of earned allowances and non fulfillment of other agreements.
However, in a statement issued on Sunday and signed by the chairman of the joint commitee, Samson Ugwoke, said universities’ managements have the right to announce resumption of activities but the union members, ”have a right to deny the University system of their services till their rights are respected and honoured.”
In the statement, the unions said they were not unaware of the ”antics of vice chancellors and managements of institutions to create a semblance of normalcy by announcing resumption of students and other activities.”
The statement continued: “While the strike action was not targeted at any individual university management, the attitudes of many vice chancellors have shown an unprecedented immaturity and irresponsibility that makes them complicit in the ongoing strike action.”
The statement said the unions, ”had made the strike action comfortable for institutions,” by providing social amenities which will (now) be put on hold pending the time the strike lasts.
It added: “Drivers attached to Vice Chancellors and other principal officers should be withdrawn. All units including VC’s office, Works and Services, Health Centre, Bursary, Registry, ICT, MIS, Audit and others should be closed down and none of our members are to be found within the vicinity of their offices. Apart from the strike monitoring teams set up by the branch executives, no SSANU member should be found within the university premises.”
“You are please directed to ensure that no Management, Dean or Head of Department coerces SSANU members to render any services. And where an attempt is made to bring people either staff or external to perform official function of our members, the attempt must be resisted with all legitimate forces at your disposal. You must also blacklist all saboteurs and renegade members of the union who seek to undermine our strike action for pecuniary gains.”
“The importance and reasons for this strike cannot be overstated. We have been taken too much for granted in a system where we are critical stakeholders and contributors to its progress.”