Monday, 20 June 2016

2weeks After Strike; ASUU And Non- Academic Unions Shutdown Nasarawa Stae University Again!

Academic and non-academic activities in the Nsarawa State University Keffi have again been shut down over issues bordering on none payment of salaries and allowances of academic and non-academic staff of the institution.

While the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, is asking for the payment of their four months salaries by the Nasarawa State Government, the non-academic staff unions of the institution, comprising of National Association of Academic Technologies (NATS), Non-Academic Staff Union of Tertiary Institutions (NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities(SSANU) are insisting that unless their allowances from 2009 to April 2016 are paid, they would not resume work.

ASUU has also declared a ‘no pay no work’ action, adding that the union was not going to tolerate a kind of selective payment of salaries by the management of the institution for no other reason than to victimise its members.

This latest development is coming two weeks after the suspension of about three months old strike action embarked upon by ASUU over back log of issues bordering on promotion, tax relief, implementation of the university law, payment of Earn Academic Allowance, among others.

But, in the agreement reached between ASUU and the governing council of the institution that the state government was going to pay 20% of their EAA and three months salaries, of which only the EAA was paid.

Arising from the congress meetings of the two unions in Keffi today, ASUU chairman, Dr. Theopholus Lagi said the Union was shocked that some people in the university were selectively paid by the management of the university, after agreeing with the state government that no academic staff of the university would be victimise after the suspension of the strike.

Dr. Lagi said, the annoying part of all the matter was that, few selected lecturers, non-academic staff and management staff were paid two months salaries without any explanation to the development.

He said when ASUU contacted the management to explain the reason behind the selective payment, they were simply told that "it was a directive from above".

“When we met with the Governing Council of the institution and the state government, we signed a non-victimization clause that no lecturer would be punished afterward, but we wandered why it turn out to be so.

“To us, this is a deliberate effort to break our ranks, it's absurd, an insult and a plan to starve the lecturers, and we are not ready to take that from either the management of the institution or the state government.”

The ASUU chairman insisted that, until their salaries are paid as agreed, we are not going to class rooms, adding that there are some questions begging for answers from the management in order for the union to know their stand forthwith.

Speaking on behalf of the non-academic staff of the university, the chairman of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities, Adamu Zubairu described as insultive the deliberate breach of agreement by the management of the institution.

"We had an agreement with the management and in the agreement; we had a component that in April 2016 our salaries will be paid with the implementation of the earn allowances of our members", he said.

Mr. Zubairu gave an estimated figure of over 18. 5 million naira as total sum of the unions allowances from 2006 to April 2016, saying that, if the management had paid their allowances on installments, the strike would not have come up by now.

He said, the non-academic staff unions of the university would not go for any other option or negotiation if their allowances are not paid.

The Public Relations Officer of the University, Mr. Jamil Zakari who confirmed this to NSUK CampusWatch, said that the management was doing its best to get money from the state government, assuring that, ones that was done; they would receive "alerts" of their entitlements.

He appealed to the unions to consider the negative impact of strike, as such would affect a lot of things in the university.

Mr. Zakari noted that, now that academic activities have fully taken off after a prolonged strike, embarking on another strike by ASUU and non-academic staff would be disastrous.

"That is why effort is on by the management to settle the matter ones and for all in order not to disrupt academic activities", he said.

Our reporters gathered that, academic activities was yet to fully take off as some of the lecturers are still not willing to teach but many students were seen loitering around the campus.

Some of those who spoke to our reporters on the condition of anonymity said, it will be difficult for any lecturer to resume work without salaries for three months.

"We are hungry, some of us have a lot of responsibilities to meet, aside from our personal needs and it seems nobody is willing to understand our situation."

"Our stomachs are empty, we are frustrated and so, it will be difficult for us to go back to classrooms if our salaries are not paid", they said.

Further checks by our correspondents revealed that, some Departments in the Faculties of Administration, Natural and Applied and Social Sciences have released their tables with intense lectures and assignments to students.

But with this latest developments, both academic and non-academic activities have come to a screeching halt.

Coming up: Presidents of Faculties, Departments storm Vice Chancellor's office. Professor Mainoma appeals for calm, pleads students not to go back home as matter is going to be resolved soonest.

By: Attah Adgidzi, Ogbu Patrick & Clement Philip Shimnon

Editing by Ofim, Kelechi Ofim

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