The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) has said it will begin a 14-day warning strike in all Federal Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education, over the shortfall in payment of its members’ salaries.
The union said the strike takes effect from the date of the resumption of work in all the mentioned institutions, “thereafter, an indefinite strike will follow if positive action is not taken to remedy the situation”.
This is coming two months after the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) began its strike.
NASU went on strike last in August 2019 over the government’s failure to resolve issues that included the renegotiation of 2009 agreements, payment of earned allowances among others.
In a statement Monday night, the general secretary of NASU, Peters Adeyemi, said the non-teaching staff union is protesting the short-payment of its members’ salaries since February 2020 through the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
The IPPIS is the government’s accountability software that has been made compulsory for all public institutions, mainly for personnel payroll.
Mr Adeyemi said the strike notice has been conveyed to its members during the weekend through a letter with reference number NASU/CD/307/209.
Mr Adeyemi also said a letter had been issued to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, declaring a trade dispute over IPPIS’ officials refusal to effect appropriate corrections of all the anomalies.
He said that in spite of the assurances given by the minister, the issues have continued to linger.
He said the 14-day warning strike would be used to protest the refusal of IPPIS to react positively to correct payment of its members’ salaries and other errors identified which have been placed before the IPPIS for correction.
According to Mr Adeyemi, “We have raised issues in dispute to include non-payment of salaries to some staff, short payment salaries to some staff, failure to pay approved allowances as contained in the FGN/NASU year 2009 agreement.”
“Others are, non-deduction of check-off dues, and non-deduction of cooperative and other deductions of its members in the Federal Universities and inter-university centres, Federal Polytechnics and Federal Colleges of Education,” he said.
He said the steps taken to resolve the issue include a meeting of the union leadership with the director of IPPIS on January 21.
“Another meeting of NASU leadership with the same director was held on Feb. 4, 2020, which did not yield the desired result,” he said.
Mr Adeyemi said NASU members have continued to observe the anomalies in their salaries paid in February, March and April.
“Now we know better. IPPIS promises of doing a three-month experiment have become very disastrously and we are unable to allow this defective and deficient process to continue,” he said.
Meanwhile, the spokesperson of the Accountant General of the Federation (OAGF), Henshaw Ogubike, in a separate statement his office was not unaware that there would be challenges arising from the migration of tertiary institutions to the IPPIS platform.
“This requires the cooperation and understanding of all the tertiary institutions to enable us to effect the necessary corrections as quickly as possible,” he said
According to him, on the completion of this process, the issue of payment of consequential arrears can be realistic to ensure that there is no overpayment or underpayment.
The federal government and workers in federal tertiary institutions have been at loggerheads since IPPIS was mandated to be the platform for paying.