By Ugonnabo Ngwu
Non-teaching staff members of Nigerian universities on Wednesday suspended their strike which had been on since December 4, 2017.
The workers are constituted into three unions namely: the Non -Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU and the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT.
National chairman of the Joint Action Committee of the three unions, Samson Ugwuoke, announced the suspension on Wednesday at a press briefing, adding that members of NASU, SSANU and NAAT have been directed to resume on March 15, 2018.
According to him, “Based on extensive consultations with our various organs, we hereby announce the suspension of the strike action embarked upon by the Joint Action Committee of NAAT, NASU, and SSANU with effect from today, March 14, 2018.
“We have therefore directed our members to resume work on Thursday, March 15, 2018.
“We, however, wish to state that the strike is only suspended and we shall not hesitate to resume the strike if government reneges on the agreement reached or delays in any aspects.
“We are resuming with one eye closed. We trusted the government before and they failed, this time around, if they fail, the outcome and reaction will be grievous to the system.
“We also appeal to our members to be more dutiful and conscientious at their duty posts and show more commitment towards covering the lost ground occasioned by the strike,‘’ he said.
Ugwuoke said that the understanding that was reached, gave five-week period for implementation on payment of a fraction of the arrears owned on Earned Allowances to members and report of progress made in respect of CONTISS 14 and 15 for Technologist.
He also said that the issue of staff schools was to be taken up by the Ministry of Education with the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission to ensure that they complied with the National Industrial Court ruling.
The JAC chairman explained that on the issue of Visitation Panels to Universities, it was agreed that there would be follow up and the report would be presented in five weeks’ times.
“The fact that the government side had now develop the courage to commit itself in writing via yet another Memorandum, we resolved to revert to our various organs and give a feedback to the world today,‘’ he said.
Ugwuoke, however, commended the Minister of Labour and Employment for facilitating the reconciliation, Minister of Education, House Committee on Tertiary Education and Services and other stakeholders for their supports.