The Chairman, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Federal University of Technology, Minna, Comrade Abubakar Aliyu has expressed displeasure with Prof. Munzali Jibril-led Federal Government renegotiation committee over its inability to meet with the non-teaching staff unions after concluding the renegotiation of the 2009 agreement with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The SSANU Chairman stated this during the Branch Congress held on Wednesday, February 23, 2022 at the CPES Hall, Bosso Campus, Minna, Niger State.
Comrade Aliyu said the committee’s refusal to commence the renegotiation of the 2009 agreement with the non-teaching staff unions of Nigerian universities was a testament to the union’s earlier claim that the committee is compromised.
He said the delay has put the agitations of the academic staff union above that of other unions.
Consequently, he urged the FG renegotiation committee to commence discussion with SSANU and other non-teaching unions without any further delay in order to avert another industrial action in Nigerian public universities, adding that the renegotiation of the 2009 agreement is long overdue in view of the harsh economic situation of the country.
The SSANU leader appealed to the committee to be fair and holistic, especially in matters of upward review of non-teaching staff salary emoluments and the condition of service.
“We urge the committee to ensure fairness and justice to the non-teaching staff unions so as to avoid division in the university system. All interest groups in the University as a system must be adequately catered for,” he disclosed.
On the delay in the payment of the consequential national minimum wage arrears to non-teaching staff, Comrade Aliyu said the Federal Government has reneged on its promise to effect the payment of the New National Minimum Wage arrears to the non-teaching staff since October 2021 as agreed.
“The arrears is our collective right not a privilege and must be paid without further delay. We are aware that the funds have been appropriated in the 2021 supplementary budget and the 2021 financial year has been extended to March 2022, so the Federal Government has no other excuse not to pay us our money,” he said.
On the lingering debate over the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS), the Chairman expressed dismay that the government has taken the patriotic efforts of the non-teaching staff unions for granted by shortchanging the non-teaching staff through frivolous deductions.
He called on the Federal Government to discontinue the payment of non-teaching staff salary through the IPPIS and empower the various Bursary Departments to handle the preparations and payment of the non-teaching staff with cash backing from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), in line with the university’s extant laws.
“If the Federal Government decides to take a back seat as an employer of labour and paymaster, there will be a proliferation of payment systems as the University General Purpose Payment System (UGPPS) developed by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of SSANU and NASU is ready for deployment after undergoing integrity test by the appropriate government agencies,’’ he disclosed.