By Appolos Christian
The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) says it will begin a strike action immediately schools resume in all the federal universities, polytechnics and Colleges of Education in the country.
Mr Peters Adeyemi, the General Secretary of NASU, who disclosed this to newsmen in Abuja on Monday, stated that the non-teaching staff union is protesting short-payment of its members’ salaries since February 2020.
The NASU General Secretary, also said that the Association has duly filed official complaints against the Accountant General of the Federation and also notify all the appropriate parties. And has filed the Trade Dispute Act CAP 432, Trade Disputes (Essential Services) Act, CAP 433 of the of the law of the federation of Nigeria 1990 and Trade disputes (Amendment) Decree No 47 of 1992 otherwise called Form TD/3.
Made available to journalists, the complaint in its filled form TD/3, titled ‘notification of trade dispute, inter and intra – union disputes by employers/workers organization, etc., NASU raised issues in dispute to include non-payment of salaries to some staff, short payment salaries to some staff, failure to pay approved allowances as contained in the FGN/NASU year 2009 agreement, non-deduction of check-off dues, and non-deduction of cooperative and other deductions of its members in the federal universities and inter-university centres, federal polytechnics and federal Colleges of Education.
The Association also stated clearly in the petition that various steps aimed at resolving the crisis have failed. It also listed the steps taken so far to include meeting of NASU leadership with the Director, IPPIS on 21st January 2020 and another meeting of NASU leadership with the same director on the 4th of February 2020, which did not yield desired result.
Also in a letter to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, declaring a trade dispute, Adeyemi, said despite the assurances given by Ngige, the crisis has continued to linger.
“Regrettably, despite your assurances via a telephone discussion sometimes in early April, 2020, the officials of Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) have refused to effect appropriate corrections of all the anomalies observed by NASU members in the Federal Universities and Intra-University Centres, Federal Polytechnics and Federal Colleges of Education up to this current moment, i.e salaries paid to our members in February, March and April, 2020.” He said.
Furthermore, Adeyemi said that NASU’s complaints as contained in its letter dated 7thApril 2020, fell on deaf ears as none of it was addressed in the March salaries. He also accused IPPIS of deceiving it into accepting the payment platform saying its peculiarities are still not embedded into the payment system which results in short payment.
“It is unfortunate that IPPIS has only betrayed the leadership of NASU by deceiving us into accepting that the IPPIS platform will take on board all the peculiarities affecting our members and that there will be no problem if we key into the platform. Now we know better. IPPIS promise of doing a three-month experiment has come our very disastrously and we are unable to allow this defective and deficient process to continue,” it said.
NASU further said it has fulfilled all the statutory requirements regarding the issues and has therefore issued a strike notice, meaning that its members in the Federal Universities and Intra-University Centres, Federal Polytechnics and Federal Colleges of Education are forthwith on a 14-day warning strike effective the date of the resumption of work in all the mentioned institutions.
It also warn that an indefinite strike will follow if positive action is not taken to remedy the situation.
In the strike notice letter to its members with reference number NASU/CD/307/209, NASU clearly stated that the 14-day warning strike would be used to protest the refusal of IPPIS to react positively to issues that affect the correct payment of its members’ salaries and other errors identified which have been placed before the IPPIS for correction.