NASU, others protest at National Assembly over unpaid N9b arrears
The three unions in the 67 research and allied institutions in the country would stage a mass protest at the National Assembly today, Tuesday, over their unpaid N9billion by the Federal Government.
The three unions, which include Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), the Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals, Research Institutes and Associated Institutions (SSAUTHRIAI) and Academic Staff Union of Research Institutions (ASURI), said the 33 meetings they have held with the Federal Government since 2010 have not yielded desired result.
Speaking on behalf of the General Secretary of NASU, Peters Adeyemi, who is the Chairman of Joint Research and Allied Institutions Sector Unions (JORAISU), the General Secretary of SSAUTHRIAI, Moshood Akinade, explained that unions decided to stage a protest at the National Assembly to draw the attention of the law makers to their plight with a view to resolving the industrial impasse.
He explained that JORAISU is shocked that the Federal Government can remain unconcerned and be so incentive to a situation where all the Research and Allied Institutions in Nigeria have been totally and completely grounded for about two months and 22 days without addressing the situation.
He also faulted the move by the Federal Government to amend the condition of service reached in 2013 unilaterally without inviting all the parties that reached the initial agreement.
“It is the condition of service of 2004 that is still obtainable in our research institutes whereas that agreement was meant to last for four years which therefore means that we have been short-changed and denied condition of service as stipulated by the labour law,” he stated.
The unions wondered why it is taking the Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development, Chief Audu Ogbe, so long to present a memo to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) to offset the 12 months arrears even after he admitted that the demands of the striking workers are genuine at a meeting held on the 4th December 2017.
The unions have consequently directed all its branches to ensure total compliance with the strike action as well as embark on massive protests.
“All members of JORAISU that are staff of Research and Allied Institutions are hereby directed to embark on demonstration simultaneously in their respective institutions on Monday, 29th January, 2018 and address the press; address a National Press Conference on the on-going strike on Monday, 5th February, 2018 at 12 noon, which we are doing now and the national leadership of JORAISU will embark on a National protest on Tuesday, 6th February, 2018 in Abuja, FCT and this will take place tomorrow (today)”, it said.