By Adebayo Olodan with agency reports
Nigerian university workers have vowed to commence an indefinite strike on Monday, joining their academic colleagues.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, had earlier begun an indefinite strike on August 13 but will resume negotiation with the federal government today.
But at a press conference yesterday in Abuja, the Joint Action Committee, JAC, of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU; Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities, NASU; and the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, said the unions will begin a “total and comprehensive indefinite” strike due to the federal government’s alleged failure to fulfill a 2009 agreement with the unions.
The chairman of JAC, who is also the National President of SSANU, Samson Ugwoke, said the industrial action will begin on September 11.
He said the workers will not provide even skeletal services during the strike.
“Concessions shall not be granted while all our members are to stay at home till further notice, unless as directed by JAC through their respective presidents,” Ugwoke said.
Apart from the 2009 agreement the unions said was reached with government and a Memorandum of Understanding reached this year, the unions said they were demanding payment of earned allowance to their members, review of governance system in universities, improved funding of universities in line with UNESCO recommendations and provision of infrastructure in the universities.
They are also asking for payment of salary shortfalls being owed, implementation of the National Industrial Court judgement on university staff schools, registration of Nigerian Universities Pension Management Company, NUPEMCO, and implementation of CONTISS 14 and 15 for technologists.
They also want improvement of teaching and learning facilities in the universities, stemming of the tide of corruption in the university system, showing of commitment in the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/University unions Agreements and ensuring the headship of non-teaching units by non-teaching staff employed for the purpose of those units.
Meanwhile, the management of the University of Ilorin has allayed fears of applicants and their parents saying the industrial action embarked upon by the ASUU, SSANU, NASU and other bodies will not affect the institution’s registration or screening exercise.
Speaking with our reporter in a telephone chat last night, Head of Corporate Affairs of University of Ilorin, Mr Kunle Akogun said, “Despite the said strike, academic activities are ongoing in our campus likewise online registration for our new intakes which started last week and will be closing next Tuesday.”
Akogun further stated that screening of applicants has been scheduled to take place between September 11 and 15 adding that the institution had set cut-off marks for various courses.
“For all courses, our cut-off is 180 but for disciplines like Medicine, Law, Mass Communication and Engineering, the management agreed on 245, 230, 220 and 190 respectively, he said adding that cut-off marks for various courses have been listed on Unilorin portal.