Universities will go on strike again, publish a new 14-day ultimatum
Students’ dreams of returning to school could be blocked as university officials threaten to go on strike again.
Workers under the auspices of the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) have threatened to issue a 14-day ultimatum to the government, threatening to hold events on campuses to protest alleged inequalities in the distribution of $ 40 billion in tuition fees. issued by the federal government. On Sunday, the union announced a 14-day strike to the government to allay concerns raised in the distribution formula adopted for benefits earned, or to risk another round of union action at public universities. The NAAT and two other university unions, the Association of Senior Employees of Universities of Nigeria (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), are protesting the alleged allocation of 75% of the university’s academic staff to the union. and 25 percent of them from the reserve of N40bn.
But Labor and Employment Minister Chris Ngige said he has yet to receive an official message from the union about the strike planned by NAAT members. The minister, who spoke to The Nation on Sunday, led the NAAT leaders; SSANU and NASU before the National University Commission and the Federal Ministry of Education on the allocation of an allowance in the amount of 40 billion N. He said: “I have not seen their notice of the strike. When we see this, we will turn the attention of their employers, namely the Federal Ministry of Education and the National University Commission. “But before that, they have to go to the NUC and the Federal Ministry of Education and find out the exact location of the $ 40 billion they are talking about. It is the NUC and FMoE that will determine what each union will receive from this $ 40 billion, because they also have a model presented by various universities in terms of earned benefits. ” University workers are protesting the $ 40 billion in income inequality awarded to four university unions. They also demand that the government release 50 percent of the accumulated $ 71 billion in compensation owed to union members under a 2009 agreement between the government and the union. SSANU President Comrade Mohammed Ibrahim expressed disappointment at the government’s failure to comply with the agreements.
He said: “My members and, by extension, all other categories of staff in Nigerian higher education institutions are disappointed and disappointed by this unusual act of government refusal to fulfill its promise to pay back the new national minimum wage arrears. the government from April 2020 “. NAAT President Comrade Ibeji Nwokoma told reporters in Abuja that the union had written to the Minister of Labor and Employment informing him of a planned union action.
He said: “We wrote to the government that the NAAT as an organization should receive a certain percentage of N40 billion. You have to determine this. You can’t just say 75 percent ASUU and 25 percent more. Let us know the specific percentage you give to the NAAT as a union. “In the Memorandum of Understanding, which we signed with the government on November 18, in Article 2b, we asked to share the issued 40 billion OE. E.; this government must clearly define what each union will be assigned to, and the government accepted the sincerity of our demands and said that the NUC and the Federal Ministry of Education will work with the union to resolve this issue. And what they have done is completely contrary to the spirit of the MoU.
“We have delivered a 14-day ultimatum to the government. We wrote to the government on December 30th. And we gave the government 14 working days, and if, after 14 working days, our demands are not met, we will resume the suspended strike. We will definitely close schools, of course, there will be no openings. If anyone thinks that ASUU has gone on strike and that schools will reopen, let that person challenge us. Let us know how effective it is and how possible it is to open schools when technologists are on strike.
“If the government has wisely stated that ASUU should withdraw $ 30 billion from the $ 40 billion allotted, this is not my union’s business. But we also informed the government that my union’s accumulated debt from 2009 to 2020, paid up to 2012, is 71 billion AD, and we asked for 50% of that amount, and also gave the government a 14-day ultimatum if the government otherwise we will declare our participants on strike. No one has a monopoly on the closure or reopening of universities by strikes. We have talked about this several times. “
He explained that at this stage, 2009 should have been reconsidered, but complained that the deal had not been fully implemented by the government. According to Nwokom, “it should have been reviewed after 3 years. But it hasn’t been revised since 2009 ”. The NAAT president noted that laboratories and studios at universities are in a deplorable state as the government abandoned the technology.
“We asked the government for $ 100 billion, because if you go to all the universities, you will find that the laboratories are deteriorating. We asked the government to allocate 100 billion N to bring the laboratories to the international standard, and then release another 20 billion N per year over the next 5 years to allow for the renewal of the laboratories. “We also asked the government to audit the equipment they sent to universities. Most of it is abandoned and unused. “