The federal government has said that the contentious earned allowances, promised to be released for the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), will also be shared with non-academic staff unions.
A meeting between the negotiating teams of the government and ASUU, last week, held to put a stop to the six-month old strike, resolved that a sum of N30 billion will be paid as part of the unpaid earned allowance to workers.
Meanwhile, after a meeting with representatives of the non-academics on Wednesday, it was agreed that the monies will be shared between the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), and Non Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU).
“On the matter of non-payment of earned allowances, the meeting resolved that the recipients of the N30 billion, earlier agreed on with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), would include all the unions in the university sector,” said the spokesperson of the Ministry of Labour, Charles Akpan Wednesday.
Mr Allan said that the unions would work with the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, National University Commission (NUC) and Federal Ministry of Education to achieve that by the end of December 2020.
FG sets up resolution committee
As concluded at the meeting on Wednesday, the federal government has set up a five-person committee to resolve the inconsistencies in payment of salaries of the non-academic staff members of universities.
The joint action committee of SSANU and NASU had embarked on a 14-day warning strike between October 5 and October 19 to call the attention of the federal government to their demands.
It was agreed that the committee would examine the complaints of the unions on inconsistencies in their payments by the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
The membership of the five-person committee is drawn from the National Salaries Income and Wages Commission, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, IPPIS, National Universities Commission and Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation.
It would also identify those whose check off dues had been deducted but not remitted.
“To facilitate the work of the committee, the unions were requested to forward the necessary data to IPPIS, as well as submit the necessary documents on the issue of welfare, to assist IPPIS make deductions, on or before Friday, 23 October, 2020.”
Minimum wage arrears, others
Regarding the arrears of minimum wage, the meeting agreed that the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation would compute the arrears from April 2019 – January 2020 and forward to the Federal Ministry of Education to process for payment through the Federal Ministry of Finance.
A timeline of two weeks was given to complete the processing.
Also, the meeting resolved that the committee on the renegotiation of the 2009 Agreements between FGN/NASU and SSANU would be reconstituted on or before October 31, 2020 and renegotiation concluded in the same period.
Regarding the matter of teaching staff usurping non-teaching units in violation of conditions of service and establishment procedures, the unions were directed to write to the NUC, and the commission requested to act on the letter within two weeks.
“The meeting agreed that the NUC Act would be amended to strengthen its regulatory capacity; and also agreed that the visitation panels for universities would be inaugurated not later than the end of November, 2020 with a four-to-six week mandate to finish its work by 31st December, 2020 subject to the gazetting and opening of universities and submit two reports per University covering 5 year periods of 2011 – 2015 and 2016 – 2020.”
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, stated that the visitation panels had already been approved by President Muhammadu Buhari and that the Federal Ministry of Education would ensure its gazetting within two weeks (29 October, 2020), the spokesperson said.