By Rukayat Akanbi, Bauchi
The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities and the Non-Academic Staff Union under the Joint Action Union, (JAU), Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University, Bauchi, protested against disparity in payment of allowances between non-academic union and the academic staff union.
The protesters who demonstrated at the University entrance wielding placards with various inscriptions which include: “We are stakeholders, we need equal treatment,” “We say no to NUPEMCO,” “Implement the 2009 agreement to the fullest,” “FGN, resume negotiations with JAC” among others.
The JAU Chairman, ATBU; Comr. Austin Jadi, who led other members of the two unions told newsmen that: “Last time, we asked the government that this issue of selected payment should not be introduced any longer into the University system, but today, we woke up to discover that the government has set in a percentage formula which is: Academic staff 80% the three non-teaching unions in the University, 20%.
“This is unacceptable and we reject it in totality. We are calling on the federal government to know that all of us are major stakeholders in the system and we should be treated equally. We are calling on the federal government to know that this selective application of judgement is not good for the system.”
Jadi said that the protest was also mainly against Federal Government’s refusal to obey court judgment on staff school salaries. He explained that, ASUU, NASU, SSANU and NAAT, entered into an agreement with the Federal Government, but at the end of the day, when payment was made, it was selective.
“We want to acknowledge that the government, for now, has decided to create more issues into the university system. Therefore, we are calling on the government to rescind and think about the issue of the 2009 agreement with the University workers.
The JAC Chairman added that “We have a court judgment about the issue of Staff School but up till today, the Federal Government has not respected that judgement of the Industrial Court. We are calling on the government to obey that Court order about the Staff Schools.
“We call on the Federal Government once again, that please, for the benefit of our children and the parents, they should correct the mistakes that have already been created by them (Federal government). This is not the issue of Unions but it’s a mistake that came from the government, so we call on them to rectify and correct that.”
Jadi said that “the issue of divide and rule in this system is no longer acceptable by us as JAC,” and we are calling on the government to make equal treatment to all Unions on Campus.
He said that, the Union’s protests are being done locally at our various branches across the federation, after which there will be zonal protests.
“After that, there will be the national protest which will be ‘Operation Occupy Abuja’ for three days. And if the government fail to yield to our demands, then we will embark on total and indefinite strike as directed.
“In the event that anything did not come out from this protest, the federal government should expect the mother of all strikes,” he vowed.