From NDUKAIHE UGWU, Abuja-
More grievances have continued to trail the implementation of the Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System (IPPIS) by the Federal Government.
The latest grievance is coming from the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), which have already issued directives to their members to go on strike once academic activities resume in the various universities, if their demands have not been met as at the time.
Addressing newsmen yesterday in Abuja, on their resolutions, the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of both unions lamented that one year after, workers in the nation’s universities were yet to be paid arrears of the minimum wage increment unlike workers in other sectors.
SSANU President, Comrade Samson Ugwoke and NASU General Secretary, Peters Adeyemi decried what they termed ‘outright negligence’ on the part of government.
They said despite series of letters by the unions to the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) office since February 2020, their members were yet to receive satisfactory answers to their complaints, especially in relation to payment of arrears of salaries the government was owing them.
According to the unions, their members who had, in the past seven months, witnessed “unwarranted and inexplicable delays in salary payments” were being suffocated with respect to IPPIS.
Said Ugwoke: “As responsible unions, we have avoided these crises but the irresponsibility of government and its officials has led us to a point where it has become inevitable. If fight we must, then fight we will.
“We have again cried out to the general public with a view to inviting stakeholders and well-meaning Nigerians to prevail on Government to correct the anomalies of IPPIS, pay us the arrears of both Earned Allowances and Minimum Wage, among all the other issues highlighted above, failing which it will be a showdown in the university system effective from when universities would be directed to reopen for activities after the COVID 19 lock-down.
“If by the time schools are asked to reopen and the needful is not done, it means hope is lost and the earlier avoidable industrial conflict becomes inevitable. This is what we seek to avert, hence this public outcry and call.”
Ugwoke said the unions also had issues with “haphazard payments leading to non-payment, underpayment, over-payments and multiple payments in some cases; misinterpretation and wrongful implementation of extant documents on statutory deductions as regards staff salaries and allowances in the university system.”
He added that the unions equally had issues with “non-issuance of payslips to workers; non implementation and unilateral withdrawal of extant allowances hitherto agreed upon with the Federal Government in the FGN/NASU and FGN/SSANU 2009 agreements and other subsequent Memoranda of Understanding, being product of collective bargaining; non-payment of arrears of new Minimum Wage; irregular deductions and non-remittance of third party deductions such as bank loans, union check-off dues and Cooperative Contributions, among others.”
AbeyaNews recalls that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has consistently rejected attempts to be enlisted in the pay scheme, insisting that the process is flawed.