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General News of Wednesday, 12 January 2022

Source: www.premiumtimesng.com

Plateau university lecturers insist strike continues, want allowances fully paid

Plateau State University Plateau State University

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Plateau State University chapter, has rebuffed the call for it to end the ongoing industrial action, saying until its members’ owed allowances are fully paid, the classrooms would remain shut.

After a meeting with the university management on Tuesday, the union’s secretary, Samson Deme, told PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone interview that only N37 million of N142 million earned academic allowances of its members have been paid.

He said it was at Tuesday’s meeting that the union realised that the N100 million released was not for ASUU alone, but for all the striking unions including the institution’s chapters of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), and the Non Academic Staff Union (NASU), among others.

“They begged us to call off the strike so that they can negotiate with other striking unions, only for us to have a meeting with the university management today (Tuesday) and realised that the N100 million that was released was for all unions,” Mr Deme told PREMIUM TIMES in a telephone conversation.

ASUU said the total earned academic allowances owed its members by the state government was N142 million.

PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the Plateau State government had at a meeting with ASUU representatives on Monday urged the striking lecturers to go back to classes, saying it had released N100 million and promised to release the remaining N42 million at the end of January. But ASUU demanded that the funds be paid before calling off the strike, saying it is done working on promises.

The latest strike embarked upon by the union on December 20, 2021, was a result of the alleged non-implementation of the March 2, 2021 agreement signed with the government by the union.

PREMIUM TIMES gathered that the union’s demands include capital projects in the school, improved security, as well as payment of earned academic allowances.

ASUU said the Plateau State Government was supposed to pay the first tranche of N70 million immediately after the agreement was signed in March, 2021, and the second tranche of N72 million by October 2021. But the government has only paid N100 million in December 2021.

Just a year ago, on January 15, 2021, the union embarked on a strike that lasted about three months. It was only called off in March when it signed an agreement with the government. Now, ASUU is accusing the government of not fulfilling the agreement.

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