Withheld Salaries: SSANU, NASU threaten to shut down universities, give two-week ultimatum

Two unions in tertiary institutions say they cannot guarantee industrial harmony if the federal government fails to pay their four months’ withheld salaries in two weeks.

The unions are the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU).

Under the Joint Action Committee (JAC), the unions made their position known in a letter addressed to the Minister of Education, Tahir Mamman, on Thursday in Abuja.

The letter titled, ‘Re-Four months withheld salaries: Demand for immediate payment’, was signed by NASU general secretary Peters Adeyemi and SSANU president Mohammed Ibrahim.

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In the letter, the unions recalled that the JAC of NASU and SSANU had embarked on a one-week warning strike between March 18 and 24.

“This is to protest the denial of the arrears of four months’ salaries withheld between May and August 24, 2022. Following a series of letters and the assurances of the payment, we write to remind the Honourable Minister of our various letters, engagements, and assurances towards the payment of the four (4) months withheld salaries of SSANU and NASU.

“We wish to express our regrets and dismay that, up to date, the withheld salaries have not been paid to our members. We view it as an act of insincerity and neglect on the part of government to the yearnings and aspirations of our members,” it said.

The unions said the government had negated the spirit of collective bargaining and built distrust.

They added that the government’s deafening silence and failure to pay the withheld salaries created high agitation and contention among their members in the universities and inter-university centres.

“This is such that we can no longer guarantee industrial peace and harmony on university campuses.

“We, therefore, demand the immediate payment of the four months’ withheld salaries to our members not later than two weeks from the date of this correspondence, failing which we will be left with no option than to shut down the universities and inter-university centres,” it said.

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