The Joint Action Committee of non-teaching staff trade union, University of Nigeria, Nsukka chapter, which comprise of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, the Non-Academic Staff Union, NASU, and the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, have, Thursday, 14th MARCH, 2019, staged a massive protest in the university, demanding the payment of their February salaries and other arrears.
The unions’ members who stormed the Vice Chancellor’s office, chanting solidarity songs and praises said they occupied the VC’s office premises to drive home their demands.
Some of the members carried placards having various inscriptions which include, “ University of Nigeria not a private university, follow due process and stop job sales,” “ Pay us our 1014/15/16 allowances” “Pay our staff teachers their contiss 2, arrears from 2009-2019,” etc.
Speaking to newsmen, the Chairman of the Joint Action Committee and SSANU, UNN chapter, Comrade Paul Obodike Erwa, said they would continue to occupy the VC’s office premises until their demands are met.
According to him, “We are protesting because of nonpayment of February, 2019 salaries to staff of the university. Inspite of the directives by the federal government that MDAs, should pay February salaries on or before 22bd of February, other institutions and other MDAs complied and paid immediately before the election of the president.
“It is only the university of Nigeria that, up till 14th March, they have not paid our February salaries. We are still demanding for the payment of 17 per cent salary shortfall from August 2017. Its almost two years. We are still demanding the payment of 2018 promotion arrears. We are still demanding the payment of omissions from 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017 promotion arrears.
“We are still demanding for payment of third tranche of earned allowances.”
He said, they knew that other management team may mean well for them but that their troubles started in 2016 when the institution had a new bursar, Mr. Jude Edeh.
He said “when the former Bursar, Dr. Mrs. Obi was our bursar, we didn’t have this delay in payments but immediately the man they call Mr. Edeh entered, our problem is the bursar, not even the CV.
He lamented that the academic staff of the institution had been compromised.
“Since we have been pursuing for this thing, no professor can come and talk because they have ll been compromised. We don’t have any union called ASUU in UNN. Even when we push and salaries are paid, we pay all workers. So, we won’t wait until we die before our salaries are paid.
“We demand immediate payment or else, this VC’s office becomes our office until they pay us our money.”
According to him, they had written warning letters to the school management but their demands were met with deaf ears.
He said although there were rumuors that some of the members got alerts of payment earlier in the morning, that he was yet to get his. He said even if the claimed alerts were for February salary, that they would continue to occupy the VC’s office until all their demands are met.
According to him, “We will continue to occupy until something is done.”