Non-academics give date for strike over salaries shortfall

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The Non-academic staff members of Federal Universities, Inter-university Centres, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education have threatened to embark on strike on 1st April if there are shortfalls in the March salaries of their members.

It noted that a seven-day warning strike earlier planned for this month was abandoned due to the closure of all institutions across the country because of COVID-19 outbreak.

The union under the aegis of Non-academic Staff of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) cautioned the Office of Accountant-General of the Federation managing the Integrated Payroll Personnel and Information System (IPPIS) not to make mistake in the March salaries of its members.

According to the union, if the mistakes of shortfalls as reflected in the February salaries of its members are repeated, they will shut down all federal institutions in the country immediately.

General-Secretary of NASU, Peters Adeyemi, stated these in a statement on Wednesday in Abuja, the nation’s capital.

Mr Adeyemi lamented the deduction of National Housing Fund (NPF) from tertiary institutions’ workers’ salaries in February.

He noted that IPPIS did not take into account the peculiarities of workers in tertiary institutions.

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According to him, some NASU members who operate salary accounts with Micro Finance banks were not paid February salaries while some were underpaid.

The statement reads: “We cannot embark on a strike when the institutions are all closed. We cannot also wait for workers not to be paid for three months. That is why if by the end of this month, we are short changed again; we would have no choice other than proceed on a total strike.

“Those managing the Integrated Payroll Personnel and Information System (IPPIS) cannot afford to make mistakes in the March salaries. If the mistakes are made again, we will shut down all federal institutions in the country immediately.

“What we are telling them now is to move quickly and correct the anomalies. They should not allow the February mistake to repeat itself in the March salaries, if not, our reaction will be total.

“With this first experiment, it is clear that the platform designed for us did not take our peculiarities on board. Rather, what was done was to massively cut our members’ salaries and allowances and also deducted the National Housing Fund (NHF), which has not been implemented in our institutions for many years. The reason the tertiary institutions pulled out from NPF was that it was not serving the purpose for which it was established.

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“Indeed, some of the conditions that were specified in the scheme included presentation of Certificate of Occupancy before assessing the facility. As a result of that, we protested against our inclusion and government removed from the scheme.

“Because IPPIS has our data, government just went ahead to play around with our salaries taking what they ought not to have taken from salaries and refusing to pay what they ought to have paid to us.”

He noted that allowances captured in the Polytechnic, Universities and Colleges of Education 2009 agreement entered into with the Federal Government were not captured by IPPIS.

Adeyemi noted that peculiarities that ought to have been integrated into IPPIS system included 65 retirement age, sabbatical leave, earned allowances and peculiarity allowances amongst other issues.

He added that more than 200 non-academic members that had their salaries’ account in Micro Finance banks in some institutions such as Federal College of Education, Abeokuta, were not paid their February salaries at all.

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