Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have warned that there might be a fresh strike action over the alleged non-remittance of some deductions made to the account of the union.
ASUU has been at loggerheads with the federal government over the non-implementation of agreements reached with it in 2009. It also raised concerns about earned academic allowances (EAA) and funding for public varsities.
The union had similarly opposed the adoption of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) while presenting its University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) as alternative payroll software.
It had embarked on a nearly nine-month strike which it later suspended in December 2020, having blamed the payroll software for what it had termed “irregularities” in the payment of the salaries and allowances of lecturers.
But according to PUNCH, members of ASUU at the University of Ibadan (UI) said they are facing a harsh economy due to the unpaid salaries and a non-refund of deducted check-off dues by the federal government.
Ayo Akinwole, the ASUU chairman at the varsity, was quoted as saying that a “withdrawal of work in the nearest future” might follow due to the “injustices and victimisation” being done to its members.
Akinwole lamented that the federal government was paying outstanding five months’ salaries for those on a nominal role at what he termed an “agonisingly slow” pace. He said over 100 UI lecturers are being owed salaries for between two to 10 months.
The ASUU UI branch chairman stated that some academic staff at the university newly employed in February 2020 had not received money, with their families and dependants suffering over their refusal to enrol on the IPPIS.
“The suspension of the strike was based on an agreement reached and an MOA signed in good faith between the government and ASUU at the stakeholders’ meeting held on Tuesday, 22nd December 2020,” Akinwole said.
“A major common position agreed to (and expected to be respected) by the government and ASUU was that nobody shall be victimised in any way whatsoever for his/her role in the process leading to the Memorandum of Action.
“Officials of the OAGF (Office of the Accountant General of the Federation) kept adducing flimsy untenable reasons for the perpetual non-payment of salaries, demanding loads of paperwork and documents…
“…both from the union and the bursary unit of the various universities, as well as the university administration. The requested documents have consistently been provided on a monthly basis.
“Yet the salaries remain unpaid. In the University of Ibadan, March 10, 2021, about 67 ASUU members that are on regular nominal payroll have their salaries ranging from two to 10 months still unpaid as of March 10, 2020.”
According to him, over 80 of its members in veterinary medicine have their allowances of eight months unpaid.