Nigeria: No way for disparities in workers’ salaries in universities – NAAT

WorldStage Newsonline– Nigeria’s National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) has vowed to resist any attempt by the Federal Government to cause further disparities in salaries of workers in the university system.

NAAT President, Ibeji Nwokoma  told  newsmen in Abuja that the body will resist any attempt under any guise to introduce disparity in salaries in the universities.

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the non-teaching staff unions in the universities had also last week threatened to resist any form of disparity in salaries of workers in the universities.

JAC of the non-teaching staff in the Nigerian universities had alleged that there was disparity in salaries of workers in the Briggs-led committee’s report submitted to the Federal Government for approval.

The committee was set up in March by the Federal Government to oversee the negotiations with the four university-based unions and had submitted its report over a month ago.

According to Nwokoma, while the leadership of the union has restrained itself from rushing to conclusion on the news that has gone viral on social media concerning allocation of percentage salaries increase to unions.

“This clearly is informed by the fact that as a responsible union we found the news to be faked and as stated earlier, it negates all known laws of collective bargaining,” he said.

“However, if the axiom that behind every smoke, there is a fire is true, we wish to clearly state the position of our union.

“NAAT will resist any attempt under any guise to introduce disparity in salaries in the universities.

“As that will have its ripple effects by solving a problem and creating multiple hydra-headed additional problems of restiveness, resistance and deep rooted further struggles.’’

He, therefore, called on Nimi Briggs committee to reconvene and conclude the re-negotiation process with the union.

He also said the committee should further adopt a more robust approach to the re-negotiation.

He added that the committee had been slow and looked spineless in its ability to take decisions on behalf of the government.

Nwokoma, therefore, said that government’s decision to enforce the “no work, no pay rule’’ on the university workers was unlawful.

“It is also important to remind government and the general public that the strike action embarked upon by NAAT is legitimate having complied with all laid down procedures and in line with ILO Convention 87.

“Therefore, the stoppage of the payment of our salaries and allowances is unlawful, draconian and contravenes the International best Labour Practices, ‘’he said.

NAAT had been on strike over alleged failure of government to keep to agreement entered with the union.

Their demands include, implementation of the 2009 FGN/NAAT Agreement, release of  the enabling circular for the implementation of CONTISS 14 & 15 for Academic Technologists and payment of the arrears of Earned Allowances, among others.

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