ASUU lists reasons for indefinite strike at UNIJOS
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Jos Chapter, which commenced a “total, comprehensive and indefinite” strike action, has provided reasons for its action that has paralyzed the entire academic activities in the institution.
UNIJOS Branch Chairman of ASUU, Dr. Christopher Piwune, while addressing the press, said the university management was deliberately shying away from its responsibilities and has severally reneged on the promises it had repeatedly made to the union to rectify many irregularities surrounding payment of entitlements meant for its members.
Piwune, flanked by the secretary of the union, Dr. Diran Ademiju-Bepo, recalled that trouble started shortly after the six-month ASUU nationwide strike in June 2013; the Federal Government released money for staff’s welfare and NEEDS Assessment, but this money was misappropriated by the university.
He said the university went ahead to disburse the fund arbitrarily to academic and non-academic staff with about 300 members of his union not getting paid. “We have had several meetings with the management of the university on the issues;
The university said some of our members were over paid and started deducting from their salaries, and even got to the point that members’ salaries were being over-deducted, yet the university was not paying those that were short-changed.”
ASUU also observed that the university has refused to pay postgraduate entitlements to its members that have supervised Masters and PhD students with over 100 applications still waiting to be attended to; adding that all efforts made in this regard has not yielded desired results.
The union also lamented the salary disparity between its members and academic staff of other federal universities, adding that Unijos management keeps complaining that there was no money.
“We have held series of meetings with the management of the university, and have had to call our zonal executives to intervene on our behalf, but each time the university promised to correct the anomalies, it only reneged when the agreed time reached. We have written 13 letters within the last six months to the administration over these issues, and we have met with them over five times.
In its reaction, the management of the university said it got the letter informing it of the indefinite strike, but added that that ASUU did not state the reasons it was embarking on the strike action.
The management, in a statement signed by the Registrar of the university, Mr. Jilli-Dandam, however, agreed that the lecturers have been dialoguing on two issues with it; the disbursement of Earned Academic Allowance and the payment of Postgraduate Supervision Allowance.
The statement added that, “Council had set up a Technical Committee, headed by a former ASUU Chairman to resolve this lingering issue. Council also directed the implementation of the report believing that it will put to rest, the issue of disbursement of Earned Academic Allowance.
But ASUU, University of Jos, without notice, reported Management to its National Headquarters alleging that 681 members of ASUU were being owed Earned Academic Allowance. And efforts to make ASUU submit the names generated by it for verification and reconciliation was resisted. They claimed that the list was contained in the Council Committee’s report. This is not correct. There was no such list in the Council Committee report chaired by the former Chairman of ASUU.