In the event that the withheld salaries of its members are not paid, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian institutions, or SSANU, has announced its intention to halt operations at all institutions in the country.
This move is in response to the Federal Government’s decision, which went into effect on Monday exclusively for the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), to exclude SSANU members from the payment of withheld salary.
Newsmen received confirmation of this incident from Prof. Gbolahan Bolarin, the ASUU chairperson of the Federal University of Technology, Minna.
Indeed, it is accurate. The money has begun to come in.
When ASUU and SSANU were on an eight-month strike in 2022, the administration of former President Muhammadu Buhari invoked the “No Work, No Pay policy” and withheld the pay.
Chief Bola Tinubu did, however, sanction the release of four of the eight months’ worth of ASUU salary that had been delayed in October 2023.
But in an interview, Mr. Mohammed Ibrahim, the National President of SSANU, expressed his vehement displeasure over the union’s exclusion from receiving the withheld payments.
He maintained that SSANU had been treated unfairly and that the union was not offended that ASUU had received payment but felt that it should have as well.
Ibrahim said, “This is just terrible, we found out that only ASUU’s payment was approved. As it is, there is tension on all the campuses we are not angry that they are paying ASUU, but they should know that it is not only ASUU that went on strike.
“Why should our case be different? The government should pay everyone who works in the university. We can’t guarantee continuous peace in our universities.
“We have written to the Chief of Staff and Minister of Education and we escalated it to Nigeria Labour Congress. There is a palpable danger if SSANU are not paid their backlog.”
Additionally, he added that confirmation of the fact that ASUU’s payment was the only one accepted came from IPPIS and the office of the Accountant General.
“We found out at the Chief Accountant General office that it was only ASUU that was approved, we also have confirmation from IPPIS that the payment does not include SSANU.”
He made a suggestion that the SSANU members would convene today, Tuesday, to deliberate on the course of action.
Ibrahim said, “Our members will meet tonight, or tomorrow morning to decide. We are under pressure; this is a clear injustice as no university can operate without the non-teaching staff.”
Also, National Vice-President, SSANU, Abdussobur Salaam, said, “The Joint Action Committee of NASU and SSANU should therefore not be held responsible should the wheel of administration and corporate governance be grounded to a halt, as we have exercised enough patience with the government, especially in the face of the harsh economic conditions occasioned by policies of the current administration led by Chief Bola Ahmed Tinubu.”
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