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Varsity non-teaching workers may begin strike monday

By Collins Olayinka, Abuja
17 August 2019   |   3:40 am
There are indications that the non-teaching workers in federal universities will begin industrial action next week Monday.


There are indications that the non-teaching workers in federal universities will begin industrial action next week Monday. This emerged as both the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities and Associated Institutions (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) have put their branches on red alert to begin the strike upon receipt of a directive from the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the unions.

The unions said in Abuja yesterday that the strike has become imperative following the alleged poor response from the Federal Government to meet their demands after the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum.The unions had penultimate week issued a 14-Day ultimatum to the government demanding immediate action on earned allowances and the sacked workers of Staff Schools. 
The unions had on August 6 resumed nationwide protest in all the universities.The two unions in a circular to all the branches after the JAC meeting penultimate Thursday in Abuja, said that at the expiration of the 14-day ultimatum if the Federal Government failed to address all their grievances, they would be left with no other option than to withdraw their services and shut down the universities.

In the circular to all their branches with the title “Notice of industrial action”, which was signed by the Chairman of JAC and President of SSANU, Samson Ugwoke and the General Secretary of NASU, Peters Adeyemi, the two unions lamented the lackadaisical attitude of the Federal Government towards addressing their grievances and obeying court judgment.

The circular read in part: “At the expiration of the 14-days ultimatum, on Sunday, August 18, 2019, without any positive response from the Federal Government of Nigeria, members shall proceed on a five-day warning strike in all branches from Monday 19th to Friday 23rd August, 2019, inclusive.“You are therefore directed to properly mobilise our members for this action. All defaulting branches shall be sanctioned accordingly.”

In an attempt to prevent a shutdown of the universities, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Education, Sonny Ochono, last week Wednesday met with the JAC were the issues in contention were extensively discussed and decisions reached. 
Ugwoke said the Permanent Secretary, who was with the Directors in the ministry, promised to send a draft of the decisions reached at the meeting to the unions.

Although Ugwoke had expressed optimism that the decisions reached would address the issues, Adeyemi expressed reservations, saying that the government had not shown good faith to the extent that it could be trusted.

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