The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has called for the immediate implementation of 25 and 35 per cent salary increments for workers in tertiary institutions.
Mohammed Ibrahim, SSANU national president, said this in a communique issued on Monday.
The communique was issued at the end of the association’s 45th National Executive Council meeting (NEC) at the University of Maiduguri, Borno.
Mr Ibrahim said NEC-in-session deliberated on issues of national importance as they concern association members. He noted that NEC recalled the renegotiation of salaries for its members with the committee led by the late Nimi Briggs at the final stage.
According to Mr Ibrahim, SSANU had demanded a 700 per cent wage increase, but the committee offered a 23.5 per and 35 per cent review for members.
“The recent announcement for approval of an increment of 25 per cent and 35 per cent for tertiary institution workers by the government, which was circulated in the social media, is not a product of a collective bargaining agreement with the university-based unions,” the SSANU leader explained.
Mr Ibrahim added, “While grudgingly acknowledging this slight increase that is yet to be officially communicated to the union, our universities and inter-university centres. SSANU urges both federal and state governments to immediately implement the increment and pay the arrears without further delay.”
He added that NEC is also aware that a provisional sum of N100 billion had been budgeted for salary review of workers in tertiary institutions, which is yet to be implemented.
The SSANU president also said NEC expressed worries over withheld four months’ salary arrears of its members during the last nationwide strike.
He said that NEC described the action of the withheld salaries as insensitive and inconsiderate.
“It was obvious that SSANU complied with all legal provisions, including giving adequate notices to the appropriate authorities. But were forced to embark on that strike due to the government’s failure to honour her path of the agreement,” Mr Ibrahim noted. “SSANU, therefore, earnestly requests the government to pay the withheld salaries without any further delay.”
He also mentioned the harsh economic “realities currently faced by citizens in the country as the government is aware, the value for the money has already been eroded by hyperinflation.”
Mr Ibrahim said NEC noted that the renegotiation of the 2009 federal government-SSANU agreement was long overdue and that the exercise should be concluded.
“NEC-in-session agreed that now that ministers have been appointed, the Minister of Education, Prof Tahir Mamman, should hit the ground running as directed by the president,” he stated. “This will go a long way in addressing all industrial disharmony between the government and the university-based unions.”
He said NEC also demanded that the government should immediately reconstitute the renegotiation committee with experienced university administrators and ensure they complete the assignment within a reasonable time.