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Ajaero calls for payment of withheld university salaries as workers begin warning strike

Government Urged to Address Grievances as Staff Associations Protest Salary Delays

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Joe Ajaero, the National President of the Nigeria Labour Congress, has urged the Federal Government to promptly pay the four months of withheld salaries owed to members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational Associated Institutions (NASU). This call comes amidst a seven-day warning strike initiated by SSANU and NASU, leading to the disruption of academic activities nationwide.

The withheld salaries issue dates back to the implementation of a ‘No Work, No Pay policy’ by the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari, targeting both the Academic Staff Union of Universities and SSANU for their respective strikes in 2022. Despite the resumption of salary payments for the Academic Staff Union of Universities in February, SSANU and NASU members have been excluded, prompting outcry and industrial action.

In a statement, Ajaero emphasized the unjust treatment faced by SSANU and NASU members, urging the government to avoid exacerbating existing tensions. He highlighted the adverse impact of further strikes on students and parents, calling for swift resolution and fair treatment of university staff.

Meanwhile, the National President of SSANU, Muhammed Ibrahim, reported a 90% success rate for the ongoing strike, expressing frustration over the government’s failure to address the salary issue. Ibrahim warned of escalating discontent among university staff if grievances are left unresolved, stressing the essential role played by SSANU and NASU in the education sector.

The strike action has paralyzed university activities across several states, with SSANU and NASU members rallying support for their demands. From the University of Ilorin to the Olusegun Agagu University of Technology, Okitipupa, staff unions have united in protest, demanding fair treatment and prompt resolution of salary disputes.

As universities grapple with the disruption caused by the strike, the federal government faces mounting pressure to address the grievances of SSANU and NASU members. Failure to act swiftly risks further escalation of tensions and prolonged disruption to academic activities nationwide.

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