The Federal Government has revealed that the non-academic staff unions will benefit from the contentious earned allowances that has been promised to be disbursed to the striking Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
A meeting that was said to have been held last week, between the two negotiating teams of ASUU and the government was to put an end to the six month old strike, resolving that the sum of N30 billion would be paid to workers as part of their unpaid earned allowances.
From the subsequent meeting with representatives of the non-academic staff held on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, it was collectively agreed that the monies to be released by the FG, would be shared among the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), and the Non Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU).
Charles Akpan, the spokesperson of the Ministry of Labour, said ‘On the matter of non-payment of earned allowances, the meeting resolved that the recipients of the N30 billion, earlier agreed on with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) would include all the unions in the university sector.’
Mr Allan, however, added that, in order to achieve this, the unions would work collectively with the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation, National University Commission (NUC) and Federal Ministry of Education in December, 2020.
Following the meeting on Wednesday, the FG, has set up a five man committee to sort out the irregularities in payment of salaries of the non-academic staff members of universities.
Members of the five man committee were drawn from the National Salaries Income and Wages Commission, Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment, IPPIS, National Universities Commission and Office of the Head of Civil Service of the Federation.
It was also agreed that the committee would obligatorily look into the complaints of the unions with regards to inconsistencies in payments by the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
The committee was given two weeks to carry out the assignment and to ensure that IPPIS work with the unions to identify and pay those who have not been paid.
The committee is also expected to identify workers whose check off dues have been deducted but not yet remitted.
‘To facilitate the work of the committee, the unions were requested to forward the necessary data to IPPIS, as well as submit the necessary documents on the issue of welfare to assist IPPIS make deductions, on or before Friday, 23 October, 2020.’
Concerning the arrears of minimum wage, it was agreed that the Office of the Accountant-General of the Federation would compute arrears from April 2019 – January 2020 and transfer it to the Federal Ministry of Education for payment processing through the Federal Ministry of Finance.’
More so, a resolve was made to renegotiate and reconstitute the 2009 agreements between FGN/NASU and SSANU on or before October 31, 2020.
Likewise, with regards to the matter of teaching staff taking over non-teaching units in violation of the already laid down conditions of service and establishment procedures, the unions have been directed to write to the NUC, and the commission, requesting to act on the letter.
‘The meeting agreed that the NUC Act would be amended to strengthen its regulatory capacity; and also agreed that the visitation panels for universities would be inaugurated not later than the end of November, 2020 with a four-to-six week mandate to finish its work by 31st December, 2020 subject to the gazetting and opening of universities and submit two reports per University covering 5 year periods of 2011 – 2015 and 2016 – 2020.’
Charles Akpan, added by saying that, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, unveiled that the visitation panels had been given approval by President Muhammadu Buhari and that the Federal Ministry of Education would ensure its gazetting within two weeks (29 October, 2020).