NAAT threatens strike over earned allowance

University of Ibadan gate

The National Association of Academic Technologists has issued a 14-day strike notice to the Federal Government.

The university workers are protesting alleged disparity in sharing of the N40 billion earned allowances released to the four university staff unions.

They are also demanding the release of 50 per cent of the N71 billion accrued allowances being owed members of the union based on the 2009 agreement with the government.

The NAAT President, Ibeji Nwokoma, told journalists in Abuja on Saturday, that the association has written to the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, informing him of their planned industrial action.

He said, “We have written to the government that NAAT as a body ought to have been given a specified percentage of the N40bn. You must define it; you can’t just say ASUU 75 per cent and others 25 per cent. Let us know the specific percentage you are giving to NAAT as a union.

“In the MoU we entered with the government on November 18, in item number 2b, we demanded that in sharing the N40bn released, that government should clearly define what is going to be allocated to each union and government agreed to the genuineness of our demands and said NUC (National Universities Commission) and Federal Ministry of Education will work it out in conjunction with the union and what they have done negated completely the spirit of that MoU.”

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Nwokoma said the union members would not resume if the government failed to respond to their demands.

He said, “We have given the government an ultimatum of 14 days. We wrote to government 30th December and we have given 14 working days and if at the end of the 14 working days our demands are not met, we resume our suspended strike.

“Definitely, we will close down the schools. If anybody thinks that ASUU has called off their strike and that schools will reopen, then let the person dare us. Let us know how effective or how possible it is for schools to reopen when technologists are on strike.”

Nwokoma argued that the 2009 agreement ought to have been renegotiated, but lamented that it has not been fully implemented.

The NAAT president explained that the university laboratories and studios were in terrible condition due to negligence of the tertiary institutions by the government.

He said, “We demanded that the government should release N100bn because if you go to all the universities, you will discover that the laboratories are dilapidated. We asked the government to release N100bn to bring the laboratories to international standard and then release another N20bn every year for the next five years for the revamp of the laboratories.”

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