The eight-months industrial action rocking the nation’s public universities took a different dimension over the weekend when the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) made its own demand from the Federal Government.
KanyiDaily recalls that the FG and the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), agreed to increase the earned allowances for universities unions from N35b to N40b during a meeting in Abuja on Friday.
The FG also agreed to exempt ASUU from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) pending the approval of their proposed payment system, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).
But the President of SSANU, Mohammed Ibrahim, said his union would resist the introduction of any other payment platform “except the one being conceived by the Joint Action Committee comprising SSANU and the Non-Academic Staff Union.”
According to Punch, he warned the government to be “wary of any group or union that would present any payment platform apart from the IPPIS, which is the one recognised by the government to curb corruption within the system.”
The SSANU president also has asked the government to ensure a fair sharing of the N40 billion earned allowances approved for the Universities unions.
He noted that the FG has no business sharing money to the unions as each university has a governing council which is the employer of all workers and the highest policy-making body of each university.
Ibrahim said the university administration through the registry and bursary units has the responsibility of knowing who should earn what, and advised the government to channel whatever amount they are giving through the councils.
He insisted that the government “must either do right and treat all unions equitably or be ready to face another round of industrial unrest in the university system.”
“We are ready to take the government head-on if an unjust disbursement of earned allowances is contemplated,” Ibrahim said.
“The government should be ready to face the full wrath of SSANU and the outcome may be an eye-opener for those who have always underestimated SSANU and assume that the welfare of the non-teaching unions can be treated with levity at the expense of other categories of staff. I wish to tell people who think that way that they may be in for a shocker.”
This is coming after ASUU said it will discuss with its members about their agreement with the government after which a date for the calling off of the 8-months strike would be announced.