Non- Academic Staff Strike Not Ending Soon – SSANU

The Non-teaching staff of Nigerian Universities; NASU, SSANU and NAAT under the auspices of the Joint Action Committee JAC said they will not call off the strike unless the Federal Government answer to their demands.

Speaking on behalf of the three unions, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) spokesman, A.O Salaam said the workers are unhappy with the strike itself but were left with no other choice. Salaam said this in an interview with Journalists.

“I hate to sound negative because our honest desire is that the matter is resolved soon and we all resume to our various duty posts. As far as we are concerned, it is not in anybody’s interests that we stay away from work. However, if we are left with no choice, what do we do?”

In a lengthy discussion , he blamed the Federal Government for the strike. He said the Government have shown little or no concern in the matter and as it is the strike is not going to end soon.

In his words, “the bane of the crisis rocking the university system is insincerity and lack of commitment on the part of government. So if you ask me, I don’t see this strike ending very soon. Unfortunately!”

When quizzed about the rumours that the Earned Academic Allowance was meant to be for the Academic Staff alone he said, “the three Non-teaching unions negotiated Earned Allowances with the Federal Government in 2009. As far as we are concerned, there is nothing called Earned Academic Allowances because that’s not what was negotiated.

“There may be a group that is demanding Earned Academic Allowances but if we are to look at it dispassionately and from an enlightened perspective, the term Earned Allowance is more generic and cuts across the academic and non- teaching sectors.

“Unfortunately, the inclusion of the word academic, was intended to cause confusion and to create tensions and I think that agenda has succeeded.”

Also speaking on the meeting the Union leaders held with the Federal Government on December 19, he said the Government acknowledged the problems but did not proffer any solution, so the meeting was fruitless.

He however emphasized that the three unions are always ready to meet with the Government to proffer a lasting solution to the problems.

“We are not the ones to call a meeting. It’s their responsibility to invite us for meetings. When they do, we will attend. NAAT, NASU and SSANU, as responsible unions, will not shy away from any engagement or dialogue that will bring the conflict to an end.

“We will always make ourselves available but the onus lies with government. The earlier we are able to resolve the issues, the better for everybody.”

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