The non-teaching staff in the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN) under the aegis of Joint Action Committee (JAC) on Thursday staged a peaceful protest demanding arrears of minimum wage and earned allowances.
The Committee threatened to shut down UNN by embarking on an indefinite strike after Nov. 15, if their members failed to receive their pay.
UNN-JAC comprised the Non-academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU).
Mr. Paul Erua, the Chairman of UNN-JAC briefed newsmen in Nsukka shortly after protesting on some major roads in UNN.
He said the three-day nationwide protest that started on Wednesday was in compliance with the directive from the National Executive of JAC.
Erua explained that the National Executives had issued the directive on the warning protests after its meeting on Nov. 8.
He said it was a result of the inability of the Federal Government to pay members arrears of minimum wage and earned allowances after a series of promises.
“If after Nov. 15 our arrears of minimum wage and earned allowances are not paid by government JAC will embark on an indefinite strike that will paralyse both academic and administrative activities in UNN.
“It’s unfortunate that government’s series of promises to JAC national executives on the payment of arrears of minimum wage and earned allowances owed to members have not been redeemed,” he said.
The UNN-JAC chairman urged the government to review its sharing formula on money released for earned allowances between teaching and non-teaching staff in public universities in the country.
“A situation in the past where the government gives 75 percent of earned allowance released to teaching staff and 25 percent to non-teaching staff is unfair and will no longer be accepted.
“Any earned allowance released by the government for public university staff should be shared 50:50 between teaching staff and non-teaching staff, in the interest of fairness and equity,” he said.
Erua, however, advised all non-teaching staff in UNN to register with their unions as any unregistered staff would no longer benefit from earned allowances.
“UNN-JAC will no longer be ‘Father Christmas’ to unregistered staff who do not support the union’s struggle but will expect to benefit from what the union gets from the government through struggles,” he said.
NAN reports that some of the placards by protesters read: `FG pay us our overdue minimum wage arrears now’; “We totally reject the proposed skewed sharing formula of earned allowances.
“We reject the present sharing formula between reaching and non-teaching staff,” among others
Mr Clifford Amoke, Chairman UNN-NASU and Dr Linus Akata, Treasurer SSANU, were among those that participated in the protest.