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Aderinola Bunmi
Science Laboratory Technology
Aspirant, Nigeria.

Members of the non-teaching staff of the Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University, Igbariam, Anambra State, have threatened to embark on a strike over unpaid salaries.

The workers, acting under the aegis of the Joint Action Committee of Trade Unions, claimed that the management of the university owed them over N4.6bn in salary arrears.

As a result, they have given the management up to Wednesday, August 14, to meet their demands or face an industrial action.

A strike notice issued by the aggrieved workers was jointly signed by the JAC leader/Chairman, NAAT-COO; Comrade A.C. Okeke, Chairman, NASU-COOU, Comrade F.O. Nwaibe and Chairman, SSANU-COOU, Comrade Oddih Obiora.

It read in part, “As we prepare to close down the university, the staff unions in the university have pleaded, dialogued and signed various agreements/MOUs with the Governing Council.

“We have also brought all our demands to the university management and Governing Council.

“Recall that in our usual way of understanding the financial predicaments of the university, we shelved our intended strike, which was earlier scheduled for May 15, 2019.

“This was to pave the way for proper negotiations with the university authorities but nothing has come out from those negotiations as our conditions of service keep worsening.

“While the university management are maintaining their stance of ‘there is no money,’ council are maintaining their snail-speed and foot-dragging approach to our demands.”

They workers stated that the N4.6bn owed them included promotion arrears, CONTISS and CONUASS arrears, earned allowance arrears, non-remittance of Contributory Pension Fund deductions, non-payment of employers’ (10 per cent) portion of the fund, PAYE deductions and remittance, non-remittance of National Housing Fund Contributions and non-remittance of union dues/levies after deduction.

They also called for the review of the law establishing the university to reflect current realities on ground, just as they demanded for the full implementation of the 2009 FGN/University Staff Unions Agreement with effect from April, 2019.

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