SSANU 7 Days Warning Strike to Begin March 18

The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has directed its members across the federation to kickstart mobilisation for a nationwide warning strike slated to commence next Monday, March 18.

Among other reasons, the warning strike is in protest of the refusal of the federal government to pay withheld salaries to its members.

Rising from its 47th Regular National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in Akure, Ondo State, SSANU, in a communiqué signed by its National President, Comrade Mohammed Haruna Ibrahim, noted “some saboteurs in this government, President Bola Tinubu’s government, are bent on destabilising and destroying the good intent of Mr. President towards sustaining industrial peace in the university system.”

The communique, in part, reads: “The National Executive Council (NEC) in session seriously frowns at the latest action of the government, which excluded SSANU and other non-teaching university-based unions from the payment of the four months withheld salaries arising from the nationwide strike action embarked upon by all unions in our public universities. While SSANU is not averse to the payment of the withheld salary to our sister union, ASUU, it views this action as a clear violation and breach of the post-strike agreement with the government on the non-victimisation of our members who participated in the strike.

“We strongly oppose this discriminatory practice, which we view as the government’s open invitation to industrial crises. Credible information available to us has it that the directive of Mr. President is for all university-based unions to be paid four months’ salary. NEC therefore suspects saboteurs in this government bent on destabilising and destroying the good intent of Mr. President towards sustaining industrial peace in the university system.

“NEC in session, therefore, calls on the relevant authorities of government to immediately implement the directive of Mr President by paying our members the four-month withheld salaries, failing which NEC has approved a one-week warning strike in conjunction with our sister union in JAC, NASU.”

The communiqué further took on the issue of implementation of a 25% and 35% salary increase saying, “NEC recalls that the government had in 2023 awarded a wage increase of 25% & 35% to our members, for which a corresponding salary structure has even been circulated via a letter from the National Salaries, Income, and Wages Commission in September last year. It is, however, sad to note that over six months later, this wage award has not been implemented in the monthly salaries of our members, even though the sum of 100 billion naira was provided for in the budget for that purpose.

“NEC in session, therefore, demands the implementation of the 25% & 35% wage award by factoring it into the monthly salaries of our members and payment of the arrears arising therefrom, as the value of that increase has already been eroded and any further delay will drastically reduce the purchasing power and value of the money. We demand this implementation before the renegotiation of the new national minimum wage, for which the government has already set up a committee.

“The NEC also demands that the government expedite action on the renegotiation of the new national minimum wage, as the current national minimum wage has completely been made useless by the hyperinflation currently ravaging the country.”

Other issues the communique mentioned are: “re-negotiation of the 2009 FG/SSANU agreement, payment of earned allowances, payment of minimum wage arrears owed to 26 universities’ workers, collapsing national security, battered economy, increased funding for universities, and reconstitution of governing councils.”