SSANU asks FG to speed up implementation of approved new wage structure for Nigerian universities

The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has urged the Federal Government to set in motion the modalities for the implementation of approved 25 percent and 35 percent salary increments for the staff of all federal tertiary institutions.

President Bola Tinubu had, last month, approved the implementation of 35 percent and 25 percent salary increments for the staff of all federal tertiary institutions in the country.

In a letter dated September 14, and addressed to the Minister of Education, the Salaries, Income and Wages Commission, the Chief Executive Officer of the commission, Ekpo U. Nta, said that the Federal Government has issued a circular on the implementation of the adjusted salary structure for the staff of Federal Government-owned tertiary institutions.

In a communiqué issued at the end of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held on Thursday, September 28, 2023, at the University of Maiduguri, Borno State, SSANU frowned upon the alleged government’s approval of a salary increment of 25 percent and 35 percent for tertiary institution workers, which was circulated only on the social media with no written agreement to back it up.

It also said that the proposed salary increase was not a product of a collective bargaining agreement with the university-based unions.

However, in the communiqué signed by SSANU President, Mohammed Ibrahim, the association said though the approved salary increase was not what the workers bargained for, it is expected that the government should immediately implement it and also pay the arrears without further delay.

The communiqué read: “NEC recalled the renegotiation of salaries for her members with the committee led by the late Professor Nimi Briggs that was at the final stage where SSANU demanded 700 percent wage increase but the committee offered a 23.5 percent and 35 percent review to our members. NEC is also aware that a provisional sum of N100 billion had been budgeted for salary review of workers in tertiary institutions which is yet to be implemented.

“The recent announcement for approval of an increment of 25% and 35% for tertiary institution workers by the government which was circulated in the social media is not a product of a collective bargaining agreement with the university-based unions.

“While grudgingly acknowledging this slight increase that is yet to be officially communicated to the union, our universities, and inter-university centers, SSANU urges both federal and state governments to immediately implement the increment and pay the arrears without further delay”.

SSANU also said that the issue of renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/SSANU agreement is not only long overdue but has become necessary for the exercise to be concluded.

In addition, the association said that the Federal Government’s refusal to pay the withheld salary of some of its members is anti-labor, inhuman, and does not augur well for continued industrial harmony.

It said that the workers expected that by now that the ministers have been appointed, the Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, should hit the ground running as directed by the president by addressing all industrial disharmony between the government and the university-based unions.

“NEC also demands that the government should immediately reconstitute the renegotiation committee with broad membership from amongst experienced university administrators with a marching order to complete the assignment within a reasonable time.

“SSANU members hereby request that this government, having claimed that they are different, having claimed that they are strategic and that they are bringing in the best of brains that the economy of this country and the welfare of our members in SSANU is at its lowest web, people are suffering, members cannot go to work, families cannot feed effectively, health issues cannot be attended to, school fees cannot be paid.

“Therefore, what we need at this point is the immediate approval and payment of realistic palliatives in the name of salary award to cushion the effect of the dire devil removal of subsidy. This if done and in addition to what has been approved, will give us some relief that will make us understand and will convince us to do our work,” it said.

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