Strike: Academic Technologists Rejects Disparity In Varsity Salaries

The leadership of the National Association of Academic Technologists,  NAAT, on Thursday said it will resist any attempt under any guise by the Federal Government or its agents to introduce disparity in salaries of university workers.

NAAT said that even if any union decides to call off the ongoing strike, laboratories, practical halls and farms would remain closed if there is no uniformity in the salary structure in the university.

It accused the Professor Nimi Briggs Committee of introducing disparity which he said would affect the harmonious relationship that has existed among staff in the university, adding that if the Committee did not banish the division it was planning to introduce, it will create multiple hydra-headed problems of restiveness, resistance and deep-rooted further struggles.

NAAT is among the four university-based unions currently on strike over issues that border on non-full implementation of the 2009 FGN/NAAT agreement, the refusal to release the enabling circular for the implementation of CONTISS 14 & 15 for academic technologists, non-payment of the arrears of earned allowances to its members, non-conclusion of the 2009 FGN/NAAT agreement re-negotiation and non-provision of funds for upgrade of public universities laboratories/workshop and studios.

Addressing journalists in Abuja, the NAAT President, Comrade Ibeji Nwokoma not with regret that the Nimi Briggs Committee has never negotiated issues of salaries and allowances of its members in all the meetings held and therefore will be immoral to award any percentage increase in salary or allowances to members of NAAT unilaterally.

Comrade Nwokoma insisted that the Briggs committee must reconvene and conclude the re-negotiation process with its union to adopt a more robust approach to the re-negotiation, as the committee had been slow and looked spineless in its ability to take decisions on behalf of the government, adding that all negotiations shall be based and anchored on principles of collective bargaining as contained in the International Labour Organisation (ILO) Convention 98.

According to him, “NAAT rejects any action that negates the principles of collective bargaining as it concerns current and any other struggle especially as it relates to salaries and allowances… and will resist any attempt under any guise to introduce disparity in salaries in the universities.

“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.”


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