EDUCATION

Strike: FG must pay us our four month salary arrears, SSANU insists

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The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, has said that the leadership of the union will not rest on its oars until the federal government pays their members the four months salaries owed to them within the period they were on strike.

The union also lamented that the government authorities are in deep slumber and that the negotiation between it and the government has been stagnated.

Speaking yesterday at the 42nd National Executive Council, NEC, meeting hosted by the University of Calabar, Cross River State, the National President of SSANU, Comrade Mohammed Ibrahim noted with dismay that non teaching staff in the universities are passing through hardship.

Comrade Ibrahim also raised the alarm over the high inflation in the country, adding that it has worsened the difficulty Nigerians are pasding through.

He said, “On the backlog of salaries as it affects federal university workers we have been shortchanged because when the law says for you to embark on any strike, you need to follow the due process, you are fully aware that our strike followed the due process because it was just a resumption of strike. We wrote to the government and notified them but there was a communication breakdown and that is why our strike was declared.

“Therefore, it is not our fault that we went on strike and there should be no reason why our salaries should be stopped because we didn’t (go on) strike because we wanted to (go on) strike, but because there was a breakdown of communication and negotiation between us and the Federal Government.

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“So, the leadership of this union is leaving nothing to chance and I want to correct this misconception that SSANU leadership has given up the struggle for the retrieval of those four months. This we will not do while in office. We will do everything humanly possible to ensure that we get our money back. It is our entitlement, it is our salaries and we cannot leave it to anybody.

“Today, the government can be said to be sleeping deeply on our issues. They are in a very sound sleep because even the so-called FGN/SSANU negotiation can best be described as stagnated and stamped because, in the last six months, there wasn’t any communication between the leadership and the government representatives, this is not good.

“That renegotiation ought to have been concluded way back and we would have known where we stand 12 years after signing the 2009 Agreement, we are still struggling with implementation. Very few parts of it have been implemented even when they are implemented, they are implemented half hardly.”

On the perennial fuel scarcity and its attendant hike, the SSANU President said, “Nigeria is the only country that produces oil and import 100 percent. This you cannot explain, it doesn’t happen anywhere.

“So, we are calling on the government to do the needful by ensuring that this suffering that we are going through shouldn’t go beyond this level and if anything, the government should as a matter of urgency, reverse this situation and ensure that we are in the Yuletide period our brothers and sisters will be able to celebrate Christmas in peace, in harmony and also in progress.

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We are aside all this wahala, facing another cancer of inflation. If you buy something in the morning for ten naira, if you come back in the evening, you will buy the same thing for twenty naira. Life is completely unbearable to members of SSANU and Nigerians generally.

“There is a need for something to be done because as it is, everything has been grounded and everyone is living at the mercy of God.”

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