We'll Shutdown UNIPORT if...SSANU,NASU
We'll Shutdown UNIPORT if...SSANU,NASU
From Madu Barth,Port Harcourt
Trade Unions in University of Port Harcourt comprising SSANU and NASU have threatened to shutdown activities in University if the FG does address their grievances. Speaking to journalists during a 3-day protest the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU )Chairman in UNIPORT,Comrd Bernard Chukwu said their members have been shortchanged in the implementation of IPPIS, while they have been denied fair sharing in the N40bn earned allowance of the Federal Government (FG).According to him,ASUU was allocated 75%, leaving other unions only 25%.
The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union, University of Port Harcourt Chapters,under the auspices of Joint Action Committee (JAC) have staged a 3-day protest in Rivers State, over what they call inconsistencies in Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) implementation, threatening to shut down the entire University system if nothing is done by the Federal Government to address their grievances.
He outlined non re-negotiation of the 2009 agreement between SSANU/NASU and the Federal Government,years after it has expired, inconsistencies in the implementation of IPPIS, non-payment of retirement benefits and unfair sharing of N40bn Earned Allowance to their members, among others,as some of their grievances.
"Our members have retired for a long time and their benefits have not been paid, meanwhile the monies have been deducted from source.We own the universities and as first son of the university,we should be treated fairly. We were here before the Academic Staff Union of Universities ( ASUU) members,in fact we employed them. So how can 75% of N40bn Earned Allowance be given to teaching staff, leaving only 25% to other unions in the university.This is unfair and unacceptable,"Chukwu said.
He warned that if the Federal Government fails to address their grievances after the 3-day protest,they would embark on total strike that would paralyze all activities in the university.
Also speaking,the chairman Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) UNIPORT,Comrd Osoruchi Ogbegbe who described the IPPIS as a failure, queried the rationale behind the lopsided sharing formula of the Earned Allowance between teaching and non-teaching staff of the university. He equally lamented the indiscriminate deductions in their salaries that characterize the implementation of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS.)
"IPPIS is a complete failure,it has exposed us to illegal deductions in our salaries,coupled with irregular salary payment," the NASU Chairman said.
Adding his voice to the issue,the National Vice Chairman of SSANU South South Zone,Comrd Azuma Cheta Ugochukwu said the protest was to address the injustices meted out on non-teaching staff of the Nigerian universities. He described the Federal Government's handling of the N40bn Earned Allowance that gave teaching staff a whopping 75% and remaining 25% to non-teaching staff as the height of 'divide and rule'. This, Ugochukwu said cannot be tolerated.
Addressing the protesters,the Acting Vice Chancellor of the University of Port Harcourt,Prof Stephen Okodudu assured the workers that any agreement reached with their national Union will be implemented by his administration. Represented by the Acting Registrar of the University,Dr (Mrs) Charles Dan-Granville,the VC urged the workers to continue to be peaceful and committed in their line of duties, stressing that every worker is important in the university system.
The protesters were seen carrying placards with different inscriptions namely,'non-implementation of Earned Allowance', 'arrears of minimum wage' and non-payment of retirement benefits',among others.