Administrative activities have been paralyzed at the University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) following the indefinite strike declared on Monday by Joint Action Committee of Non-Teaching Staff Trade Unions (JAC) of the University.
Members of the executive present when the resolution to embark on the indefinite strike was made include: SSANU Chairman, Comrade Paul Erua, NAAT Chairman Comrade Emma Mbaoji and NASU Chairman, Comrade Clifford Amoke.
Addressing members of non- teaching staff, the chairman of JAC, Comrade Paul Erua said they are embarking on the strike because of the failure of the University to pay them their deserve allowances such as hazard allowance, over time, shift allowance, union check-off dues as well as payment of 15 percent deducted June salary among others.
‘’We are embarking on this indefinite strike as a last resort after every attempt by JAC to make the University meet our demands failed.
‘’We gave the University five day and after that gave them another 21 days to enable the management do the needful but ignored us.
‘’It is unfortunate that what our colleagues in other Universities are enjoying is been denied us in UNN’’, he said.
Erua directed members to proceed on indefinite strike pending on when they received bank alerts of their allowances.
It would be recalled that members of the union overwhelmingly supported the indefinite strike was called by JAC.
The union in other to ensure full compliance of the indefinite strike set up a 10 man monitoring committee to enforce the strike on erring members.
‘’This indefinite strike is total; all offices must be closed as well as the University medical centre.
‘’Also plant house, water and electricity supplies to hostels and staff quarters are cut off as workers from this departments are expected to remain in their homes.
About 500 members of the union were present during the congress where the decision to embark on the strike was reached.
In a swift reaction, the Vice- Chancellor of University of Nigeria, Nsukka, Prof. Benjamin Ozumba described the action of leaders of JAC to call non-academic staff of the university to strike as misleading as well as failure inability of their leaders to tell members the truth.
Ozumba explained that it was not the responsibility of management to pay allowance but that of the federal government.
To substantiate his claim Ozumba tendered a circular from the office of the accountant general dated 4th July 2017 directing ministries, departments and agencies to submit detailed schedules of the shortfalls and allowances owed civil servants for the payment of eligible officers and beneficiaries.
‘’It is unfortunate that leaders of JAC know the truth that allowances are paid by Federal Government but are feeding their members with lies to attract cheap popularities.
‘’I am not surprised of what is happening as the politics for who will succeed me as VC in 2019 has begun.
He alleged that the leader of JAC who has served for two terms is angling for third tenure adding he is bent on achieving that by whatever means.
However, the VC urged workers to go about their normal duties as failure to come to work would attract no work no pay civil service rule.
‘’Workers should ignore the strike and continue in their duty post as the University would not hesitate to implement the no work no pay civil service rule which the circular has been issued’’, he said.
Meanwhile the academic is skeletal in UNN following the indefinite nationwide strike embarked be Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).