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Salary increment for varsity lecturers recipe for crisis, warn NASU, SSANU

By Collins Olayinka, Abuja
23 July 2022   |   4:12 am
The directive of President Muhammadu Buhari to his cabinet members to end the ongoing strike in the university system might be headed for the rocks.

Adeyemi

The directive of President Muhammadu Buhari to his cabinet members to end the ongoing strike in the university system might be headed for the rocks. 

The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and the Senior Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) under the aegis of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) yesterday said in Abuja that they were yet to receive an invitation for continuation of negotiation, adding that the Prof. Nimi Briggs committee’s recommendations on salary adjustment if implemented would plunge the system into a deeper crisis.

NASU and SSANU vowed to reject any salary increment in the university system that would further widen the gulf between teaching and non-teaching staff.

The spokesperson of the committee, Peters Adeyemi, who stated this on behalf of the unions, said the issue of salary structure did not feature in the interactions they had with the Briggs Committee.
 
His words: “Let it be stated clearly, that SSANU and NASU reject any salary recommendation that would cause a further disparity in the university system. There is an already existing disparity in the system, which we had always closed our eyes to. To further expand that disparity would be an invitation to the greatest level of anarchy and industrial unrest ever witnessed in the university system.”

The JAC of the two unions expressed shock over the Briggs Committee’s recommendation, saying: “It is therefore shocking, to say the least, that while we have not even commenced discussions on salary review and other allowances, we received reports that the Committee had gone ahead to submit a report to the Federal Government recommending a 10 per cent increase for Non-Teaching Unions.”

Meanwhile, the Joint Research and Allied Institutions Sector Unions (JORAISU) has directed its members in the research institutions to extend their strike.

In a circular with reference number ‘JORAISU/R/282/VOL.VI/47’, the joint unions, while commending the resilience of the staffers, said efforts were on to convene a meeting of all stakeholders in the Research and Development Institutes (RDIs) sector on the issues in dispute.

The spokesperson of the committee, Peters Adeyemi, who stated this on behalf of the unions, said the issue of salary structure did not feature in the interactions they had with the Briggs committee.

This was even as the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) has insisted on proceeding with the planned protest in support of the university unions slated for next Tuesday and Wednesday. It, however, pledged to ensure that hoodlums do not infiltrate the protest.

Deputy President of NLC, Najeem Usman Yasin, and General Secretary, Emmanuel Ugboajah, gave the assurance in a meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige.

Ugboajah, who politely rejected the Minister’s overtures to the union to suspend the protest, however, appreciated him for working assiduously towards the resolution of the industrial actions in the university system and pleaded with him not to hands off the conciliation.