By Uchenna Ezeadigwe
Three frontline workers unions at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka on Thursday demonstrated in front of the office of the university vice chancellor against unpaid salaries and promotional arrears. They accused the school management of non-payment of February 2019 salaries, shortfall of 2014 salaries, the promotion arrears of 2013 till 2018, the omission in the third trench of the earned allowances and among others.
Orient Weekend gathered that the protesters made up of members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), their Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) counterparts, operating under the aegis of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) stormed the office if the vice chancellor, by Professor Benjamin C. Ozumba around 9am chanting solidarity songs. However, as they were denied access to the VC’s office by security officers on duty, they camped outside, remonstrating and praying for divine intervention on their plights.
They vowed that the demonstration exercise would be a continuous process until the university management pay them their full entitlement while some were raining abuses, chants of disappointments and prayers for God’s intervention.
Although investigations revealed that 70 percent of the salary was paid on March 14, 2019 the protesting staff said the half-salary payment was not acceptable to them as federal government have since released funds for their full payment.
The Chairman Joint Action Committee (JAC), Comrade Paul Erua said the demonstration was organized so that the aggrieved staff would show their greivances over the denial of their rights by the school management.
“We are not happy about the administration of Prof Ozumba as he has refused to implement our earned allowances. Somebody like me, a principal assistance registrar on level thirteen and step thirteen is losing up to N100, 000 in my salary meanwhile other universities have paid their own”, he said.
NAAT Chairman, Comrade Mbaoji Emmanuel also claimed that federal government had earlier on February 9, directed that all staff be paid to enable them travel to travel various registration points for the general election. “The situation is very bad. How can the management refuse to take the directives of the Mr President? We expect that our money should be bad in full and not in parts. When even wrote to the council few weeks ago and up till now we have not heard from them, no reply”.
The Chairman Non Academic Staff Union, Comrade Clifford Amoke, accused the management of refusal to do the needful. “Even after writing to the council on why the delay of staff salary they decided to keep quiet, no reply up till now. We have decided to showcase our grievances through peaceful demonstration and will no stop until our desires are met”.
Another staff Mrs Ugwoke added that the half salary alert was received this morning. “I received alert of half of my salary which I quickly called my colleagues and they confirmed it. Soon than we arrived office we were directed to come here for demonstration. I personally don’t accept it”, she bemoaned.
Meanwhile, efforts to speak with the vice chancellor were proved abortive as other time of filing this report.