KSU News – Kogi State University (KSU) in Anyigba, chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said about 200 of its members were screened out of service during the recent staff verification by the government.
Its Chairman, Dr Daniel Aina, disclosed this while speaking to journalists in Lokoja, the state capital. He said the ongoing strike would only be suspended if all issues relating to arrears of salaries, 2015 employment, contract and sabbatical staff were resolved.
The union also said government must resume the monthly instalmental payment of the 2009-2014 arrears of the Earned Academic Allowances (EAA). According to Aina, the KSU management must pay the outstanding balance before ASUU can call of the strike.
The union, however, hailed the government for reconstituting the Governing Council of the university, saying the government must also address payment of salaries to all categories of its members.
Aina said: “Payment of salary arrears of the KSU teaching staff is the pathway for the amicable resolution of all outstanding issues. This is because our salary arrears of February and March 2017 have been left out, while the government pays the employees of other tertiary institutions in the state, who have been on strike.
“Since 2014, the government has never paid the staff monthly salary in full. The university administration has had to augment the recurrent short falls from its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). Even this uncompleted salary has become erratic.
“The government must be told that the propaganda on salary payment is a ruse because artisans, traders and the business environment of the state do not enjoy the patronage that naturally flourishes when workers are paid.
“It is pathetic that economic activities have been seriously hampered in the state due to the non-payment of salaries occasioned by the long-drawn and tortuous staff screening exercises. Many parents whose children and wards have been at home since the strike started, are yet to be paid their salaries.
“Till date, several of our members have not received salary since June 2016. All employees of Kogi State University have not received their February and March 2017 salaries. Neither the government nor the university administration has paid anyone.”
Aina expressed concerns over the consistently deteriorating working conditions among the academic staff in the university, saying it had led to mass exodus of staff. ASUU also said there had been sharp reduction in funds released to the institution by government, regretting that infrastructure and staff development in the school were for the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).
The union also condemned the disruption of the protest by students and their arrests by security agents, saying the use of force would not yield any fruit.