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Why varsities senior workers begin 14-day warning strike today

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By Gift Habib

The Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities have given reasons why it embarked on a 14-day warning strike from today.

The SSANU, in a statement on Sunday by its President, Samson Ugwoke, hinged its decisions on alleged inconsistencies in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, non-payment of the arrears of the national minimum wage and the failure of the government to pay the earned allowances.

The union also revealed that its decision was as a result of non-payment of retirement benefits to its members, lack of seriousness and delay by the government in the re-negotiation of the 2009 SSANU/Federal Government Agreement.

It alleged usurpation of the headship of the non-teaching units by academic staff members “in clear violation of conditions of service and establishment procedures,” corruption in the university system and non-constitution of visitation panels for the universities in line with the laws and neglect and poor funding of state universities.

The statement said, “Following the recent directives from the National Universities Commission to Vice-Chancellors for the immediate resumption/safe reopening of universities, you are hereby directed to commence a 14-day warning strike effective from October 5 to 19, 2020.”

Ugwoke said that the strike was a prelude to a full-blown, indefinite industrial action if the grievances were not addressed by the government.

The letter earlier written by the Joint Action Committee on June 1, 2020, and signed by the Chairman of JAC and President of SSANU, Ugwoke and the General Secretary of NASU, Peters Adeyemi, had it mentioned their contentious issues, its intention to embark on strike immediately the universities reopen to press home their demands and urged the minister to act fast to avert the impending strike.

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