FG to sue varsity workers over strike

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The Federal Government on Friday told members of the Non-Academic Staff Union of universities, the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities and the National Association of Academic Technologists that they cannot go ahead with their planned industrial action slated to start by midnight.

The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said this in an interview with State House correspondents shortly after a meeting he had with the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The minister said going ahead with the planned strike would run contrary to the International Labour Organisation’s statute on social dialogue and principles at work.

He said this was because their employers have listened and have brought them to the table for discussion.

The minister said SSANU and NASU notified the government of the planned strike the Joint Action Committee.

He added that the government has moved to “apprehend the strike” because the country just came out from a strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities which lasted nine months.

Ngige explained, “In consonance with the labour laws, we have apprehended both strikes. They gave us trade dispute notice, we scheduled meetings with them after apprehension, we held meeting with NASU and SSANU last week Tuesday and government’s position was explained to them.

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“They have a lot of issues mentioned as their grouse, issues like IPPIS. They said IPPIS has amputated some of their allowances, they also have the issue of consequential adjustment that was paid to all civil servants as a result of the new minimum wage of N30,000 for staff above Grade Level One, that is starting from Grade Level Two up to Level 17.”

The minister said explanations have been made on all the issues raised by the unions.

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