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    Wednesday, November 17, 2021

    NASU Threatens to Resume Nationwide Strike over Disparity in Sharing of Allowances

    The Non Academic Staff Union of Education and Associated institutions (NASU) has said it may be forced to resume nationwide industrial action if the federal government ignores its appeal to reverse the disparity in the sharing of the next tranche of the Earned Allowances.

    In passing a vote of no confidence on the Implementation of the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS), NASU said contrary to assurances made by government before introducing the salary payment platform, IPPIS has now become a source of pain on workers and their families.

    NASU listed some of the negative and unresolved effects of the implementation of the IPPIS policy to include short payment of salaries of staff, lack of payment of salaries at all to some staff, withholding of third party deductions, non-payment of promotion arrears and withholding of the legitimate allowances due to the staff.

    NASU President, Makolo Hassan who spoke at the opening of the National Executive Council meeting of the union in Abuja, yesterday, said the non-teaching staff unions in the universities and Inter-University Centres had fought relentlessly over the disproportionate sharing formula of 80/20 per cent and 75/25 per cent to the academic and non-teaching staff in the universities.

    He accused government officials of showing bias towards academic staff against the non-teaching staff of universities and inter-university centres in the payment of Earned Allowances.

    He said that the non-teaching staff unions had approached the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, who is the Conciliator-in-Chief of the Federation over the sharing formula, but he asked them to take their grievance to the Federal Ministry of Education and the National Universities Commission (NUC).

    “All these leaves no one in doubt that the federal government is emotionally motivating non-teaching members of staff to take unintended actions that will assist them to gain equity on the matter.

    “We are therefore using this medium to call on the President to intervene and stop the continuous sowing of seed of inequity and distrust in the system by officials of his government. We are aware of plans to share the next round of the Earned Allowance in the same manner it was done previously.

    “To continue to ignore the feelings of Non-Teaching staff in these acts of unfair treatment, will not make the feeling to go away; rather, such attitude of government officials will continue to provoke industrial crisis in the system.

    “We are making it clear that, if the federal government decides as usual to ignore this appeal, then government would have forced us into resuming our suspended strike on this matter.

    Hassan said the unending crisis associated with the unjustified sharing formula of the Earned Allowance in the universities and Inter-University Centres calls to question the sincerity of this government toward the fight against corruption.

    “It is clear to us that Government officials do not give premium to issues of equity, fairness, natural justice and good conscience. Close to five years, the non-teaching staff unions in the Universities and Inter-University Centres have fought relentlessly over the disproportionate sharing formula of 80/20% and 75/25% to the Academic and non-teaching staff in our universities.”

    According to Hassan, the previous sharing formula for the Earned Allowance showed that in 2019, the third tranche of N25 billion was released at the rate of 80 per cent to ASUU and 20 per cent to Non-Teaching Staff, while the fourth tranche of Earned Allowance for 2021, N40 billion was released at the rate of 75 per cent to ASUU and 25 per cent to non-teaching staff.

    On the issue of IPPIS, Hassan said at the point of introduction of IPPIS, federal government gave the impression that they had overcome challenges encountered by workers in the seven pilot Ministries, Departments and Agencies and promised that no worker in tertiary institutions will suffer as a result of the implementation of the policy.

    He said it was unfortunate and painful that the promise given before the policy was implemented in tertiary institutions has failed to materialise.

    “Close to two years down the line of the implementation of the policy in tertiary institutions, the fears of workers when embracing the policy have manifested and remain unaddressed, while inflicting massive pains on workers in the sector and their families,” he said.

    On his part the General Secretary of NASU, Adeyemi Peters said contrary to the statement made by the Minister of Labour, Senator Chris Ngige was lack of education that was fueling strike and agitations by trade unions, it is due to the lack of insincerity by government officials that is actually causing the incessant strike in the country.

    He said the government appointees usually look down the workers and the union leaders even when some of them do not possess the level qualifications.

    “There are industrial actions everywhere and every sector is engulfed in one dispute or the other. Let me use this opportunity to tell those in government that it is not about the level of education, but that it is important for them to begin to respect agreements made to meet the demands of workers and not to wait until the unions get fed up and embark on strike then you call them to sign Memoradum of Understanding that will not be implemented,” he said.

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