By Our Correspondents
- University staff school workers have not been paid full salaries since 2016
- Issues with incremental rate not addressed by the university
- Strange object placed at the gate isn’t fetish
The industrial strike action embarked by the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), University of Ibadan Chapter has rolled into weeks, with members threatening not to back down on their agitations unless their demands are met by the university management.
Porters, who should be part of the strike action, were noticed resuming duties at various halls of residence, however, the Chairman of NASU, UI chapter, Comrade Malachi Etim, has said they (porters) were lucky not to be beaten as their violation against the union’s directives would not bring their demand into fruition.
He made this submission in an interview with the Union of Campus Journalists (UCJ) on Friday. He added that if the monitoring team met the defaulting porters on duty, they would be beaten out of their places of work.
He stated: “For them to sneak out and come into the hall, they should be lucky we don’t meet them there. They are sabotaging our efforts. They are supposed not to be in the hall at all.” He also added that save for Jaja clinic and the Bursary service, non-teaching staff should not be on duty as long as the strike continues.
Speaking on issues that generated the strike action, Comrade Etim said the university management failed to pay the staff school workers full salaries since 2016, coupled with the fact that they were being owed salaries in arrears. He mentioned that it was a joint resolution of the union members “that the suffering of staff school teachers is much,” and at such, series of demonstration must be made in a bid to alleviate the suffering of the teachers.
Furthermore, he said the university management had stopped paying them “incremental rate” since 2018.” The incremental rate as he stated, was meant to be paid every October but was shifted to January, which the university’s bursar said was a directive from the Federal Government of which there was no circular to that effect.
This, Comrade Malachi said, led to series of agitations, demonstrations, and after nothing was done, they served an ultimatum to the university to drive home their demands. In a meeting the members had with the management recently, one month incremental rate was paid, which they frowned at, requesting payment for atleast three months. The failure of the management to listen to their complaints, according to him, would continue to elongate the strike action.
The Chairman, however, cleared the air on the strange wooden object placed at the entrance of the university’s gate last week, which according to rumours, had some charm-like effect. The strange object, he said, “is a symbol of unity between NASU and SSANU,” since both unions are on strike actions against the management. “It has no fetish things,” he expressed. He also added that the masquerades that were seen amidst their members while demonstrating their grievances were mere jokes.
He equally added that as long as the management made no attempts to address their issues, the strike action would continue as NASU members would not take any appeals. He said the way their issues were being dilly-dallied by the management had made their members lost confidence in them. “If the management attends to us today, we call off the strike,” he said.