Negotiate with ASUU, others, Kogi unions warn Bello
The Joint Action Committee, JAC, of trade unions of tertiary institutions owned by Kogi state has issued a 14-day ultimatum to the state government to negotiate with the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Kogi State University, Anyigba chapter, and other aggrieved parties affected by current industrial impasse.
In a communique issued at the end of its special meeting on 31st October, 2017, the JAC warned that failure to negotiate with ASUU, the organized labour, JAC Kogi State Polytechnic Lokoja and JAC Kogi State Specialist Hospital Lokoja, and meet other demands spelt out in the communique, would compel other member unions of JAC to embark on industrial strike.
The unions observed that “Kogi State Government has reneged from its commitment to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between the Governing Councils of Tertiary Institutions owned by Kogi State, Kogi State Government and Joint Action Committee of Trade Unions of Tertiary Institutions owned by Kogi State on 21st June, 2017.”
While stating that the purported proscription of all trade unions of tertiary institutions owned by Kogi State was a media gossip as no union has received any letter of proscription, the unions however noted that payments of salaries to their members has become a privilege, and no longer a right.
In the words of the unions “Staff of Kogi State Polytechnics, Lokoja embarked on an industrial strike at the expirations of 21 day and 7 day ultimatums issued to Kogi State Government. To frustrate the strike, the School Management is intimidating workers to resume work.
“Money deducted for cooperatives societies and check-off dues of trade unions are no longer remitted to the appropriate quarters.
“There is a growing trend of high-handedness of heads of tertiary institutions toward our members. Some of these over-zealous heads have resolved to intimidations and blackmailing of members, all in the name of protecting their jobs.
“Some tertiary institutions are yet to absorb and pay 2015 and 2016 employees, this disregards the needs assessment reports submitted by the Governing Councils of those institutions.
“The deployment of Nigeria Army to the campus of Kogi State Polytechnic, Lokoja on 27th September, 2017 is barbaric and condemnable.
“There is a sinister plan by Kogi State Government to: freeze bank accounts of unions of tertiary institutions, stop check-off dues accruing to Unions and seize all official vehicles of Unions. Issuing of pay slips to our members is no longer common in tertiary institutions, a situation that suggests fraud and short-changing of our members.