Universities Threaten Strike Over Staff Retrenchment

 Universities Threaten Strike Over Staff Retrenchment

The Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), has advised the Federal Government of Nigeria to review the circular directing that workers of the Staff schools should not be captured in the 2022 budget.⁣

The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) is a trade union of senior non-teaching employees of Nigerian universities. Like other trade unions in Nigeria, the SSANU is affiliated with the Nigerian Labour Congress.

The union’s president, Mr Mohammed Haruna, threatened the union would go on strike if the government goes ahead with its plan to deny over 3,000 staff members of their salary benefits in the 2022 budget.

The circular allegedly from the Budget Office has directed that senior non-teaching employees of federal universities should be removed from the Consolidated Salary Scale, CONTISS, in the 2022 budget.⁣

What is CONTISS ?

Consolidated Tertiary Institution Salary Structure (CONTISS) is a payment structure for both non-academic and academic staff in Polytechnics, Universities and Research Institutions in Nigeria. The structure also covers doctors (medical, veterinary, and dental ones) in federal health institutions like teaching hospitals, specialists hospitals, medical centres.

CONTISS states that the salary calculated for people working in tertiary institutions should include the following categories:

  • Meal subsidy
  • Leave grant
  • Allowances, such as utility, journal, furniture, research, examination administration, industrial supervision, field trip, rural posting, clinical duty, domestic servant, teaching, administrative officer, responsibility, inducement, and driver’s (for the officers who are entitled)

In 2009, CONTISS II was added to expand CONTISS I. it consolidates the previous structure with a peculiar allowance meant for non-academic staff at universities and a rent subsidy.

However, in 2016, the SSANU dragged the government to an industrial court for failing to pay the allowances provided by the tenants of CONTISS II. The Court sitting sided with SSANU, saying it was incumbent on the federal government to implement the collective agreement it reached with SSANU in 2009.

SSANU President, Mohammed Haruna said that the government’s plans would reopen the matter that had already been decided by the National Industrial Court which would affect the industrial harmony being enjoyed in the universities.

SSANU boss accused the government of going contrary to the agreement with the union, even when the court had given a judgment on the matter.⁣

According to him, the over 3,000 mentioned is very conservative because it only accounts for members of SSANU. Over1,000 workers under their sister unions like NASU would also be affected.

Patsy Nwogu

A writer focused on data journalism, health and data analytics.

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