Taraba Varsity Non-academic staff vow to proceed with strike
Jethro Yerga, Jalingo
The Non-academic staff, comprising of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) and the Non-academic Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (NASU) under the umbrella of Joint Action Committee, Taraba State University Branch have vowed not to back down on their ongoing indefinite strike until all their laid down demands are met by the school management.
At the last congress of the unions which was for the second time, held under a tree in the school premises, members lamented the careless and sit back attitude of the school management towards the strike and vowed to resist any form of its intimidations until all their laid down demands are given favorable attention.
Members of these unions had previously staged a peaceful protest withing the school premises to drive home their demands but all efforts have not yet yielded the desired result.
Updating journalists shortly after the congress, the chairman, SSANU and Joint Action Committee (JAC), Taraba State University Branch, Comr. Linus Williams Naiman stated that the unions exco had met with the Commissioner of Tertiary Education in the state, Hon. Edward Baraya who told them to go back and call off the strike before any form of negotiation would commenced.
“We were able to meet with the commissioner for Tertiary education and he told us that we should go and call off the strike before any form of negotiation will commence in respect to our ongoing strike.
“On the part of the school management, I received a text message from the finance department of the school this morning notifying me that there is a total amount of 22 million naira approved by the school management to be paid to us on the 31st of 0ct; 2021 so I should forward some information regarding our members.
“but as you know, this is never a personal matter. It is a union matter so congress has unanimously agreed that the school management must show some level of concern and write formally to the union explaining the type of money pledged to be paid at the end of the month otherwise our demands are numerous”. He stated.
Also lamenting on the situation, a member who does not want his name in print said the management had resolved on intimidation of members of the unions instead of doing the needful.
“Since we went on this strike, nobody cares to call us to hear our grievances and Instead of paying us what rightly belong to us, the powers that be have now devised another means of intimidation of our members.
“They said they will invoke the illegal policy of ‘no work no pay’ if we continue with the strike but we are determined. We are not backing up. We will not succumb to any form of intimidation or pressure from any corner even if we are not paid our salaries for any period they wish. What we are fighting for is our right and so God will take care of the rest”. He stated.
Meanwhile, as the rift between the two parties continue to deepen, the students of the university are no longer finding it funny as water and other amenities in their various hostels have now become hot cake.
They had consequently, staged a peaceful protest in the school but were however, promised that the issues would be resolved as soon as possible.
Recall that the Nonacademic Staff Unions had been on an indefinite strike for almost three weeks now over nonpayment of promotion arrears and earned allowances.
They are also alleging several injustices meted against them by the school management including selective payment of promotion arrears from 2016-2020, selective payment of earned allowances from 2008-2014, the removal of all allowances of non-teaching staff, the non- issuance of 2020/2021 APER forms for promotion, continue short falls in salaries and non- implementation of pension from inception of the university to date among other issues.
Though the Vice Chancellor of the University was not on seat to react to these issues, the director of information of the University, Mallam Sanusi Sa’ad and the acting registrar of the university, Prof. Joseph Bibino declined their comments on the issues raised by the two unions.