No question of salary disparities in universities – NAAT – WorldStage

WorldStage Newsonline– The National Association of University Technologists of Nigeria (NAAT) has pledged to resist any attempt by the Federal Government to cause further disparities in the wages of workers in the university system.

NAAT President Ibeji Nwokoma told reporters in Abuja that the body will resist any attempt under any pretext to introduce a disparity in salaries in universities.

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of non-teaching university staff unions had also threatened last week to resist any form of wage gap for university workers.

The JAC of Non-Teaching Staff at Nigerian Universities had alleged that there was a disparity in workers’ salaries in the Briggs-led committee report submitted to the Federal Government for approval.

The committee was set up in March by the federal government to oversee negotiations with the four university unions and submitted its report more than a month ago.

According to Nwokoma, while the union leadership refrained from rushing to conclude on the news that went viral on social media regarding the awarding of the percentage wage increase to the unions.

“This is clearly informed by the fact that as a responsible union we found the news to be faked and as previously stated negates all known laws of collective bargaining,” he said.

“However, if the axiom that behind every smoke there is a fire is true, we wish to clearly state our union’s position.

“NAAT will resist any attempt, under any pretext, to introduce salary disparities into universities.

“As will have its ripple effects by solving one problem and creating multiple additional hydra-headed problems of unrest, resistance, and additional deep-seated struggles.”

He therefore asked the Nimi Briggs committee to meet again and conclude the renegotiation process with the union.

He also said the committee should take a more robust approach to renegotiation.

He added that the committee had been slow and seemed weak in its ability to make decisions on behalf of the government.

Nwokoma, therefore, said the government’s decision to apply the “no work, no pay” rule to university workers was illegal.

“It is also important to remind the government and the general public that the strike action initiated by NAAT is legitimate after following all established procedures and in accordance with ILO Convention 87.

“Therefore, stopping the payment of our wages and allowances is illegal, draconian and contravenes international best labor practice,” he said.

The NAAT was on strike over alleged failure by the government to honor the agreement reached with the union.

Their demands include, among others, the implementation of the FGN/NAAT agreement of 2009, the publication of the enabling circular for the implementation of CONTISS 14 and 15 for university technologists and the payment of arrears of acquired allowances.

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