- ERC Calls on FG to pay SSANU, NASU and NAAT members their backlog of earned allowance
Being the ERC leaflet circulated at the Congress and rally of non-academic staff unions at University Lagos on Monday January 22, 2018
The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) hereby solidarizes with the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of SSANU, NASU and NAAT over their on-going nationwide strike for payment of earned allowance. A worker has a right to his or her wages and associated allowances. Earned allowance which the non-academic staff unions are fighting for is their entitlement for services rendered to the universities and by extension Nigeria as whole.
On this basis, the Education Rights Campaign (ERC) calls on the FG to immediately meet with the demands of the striking unions by ensuring that all unions get the full entitlement of their members. We condemn in strong terms the university management and the FG for attacks on union leaders which has been observed in some quarters especially at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) in order to sabotage their struggle to fight for better welfare for their members. We also call on JAC to ensure the strike is sustained until victory is won. Instead of a sit-at-home strike, we advise that side by side with the activities of the strike monitoring committees, public rallies, protests, symposium and leafleting should be regularly organized in order to build public support for the strike.
We urge the unions not to allow government’s agenda to sow division among them to come to pass. Only the FG has anything to gain from such a division. Rather than fight each other, university workers should unite to fight the root cause of the present crisis. The root cause is no doubt the fact that only a paltry and inadequate sum of N23billion was released by the Federal government to cater for the demands of all unions in federal universities for payment of backlog of earned allowance and earned academic allowances. The FG cannot claim to be oblivious of the exact amount required to pay the backlog of earned allowance to all non-academic staff in federal universities in the country. Yet, it released a paltry N23 billion with the hope that it will cause ill-feelings. The objective of FG’s agenda is no doubt to break the historical solidarity that has always existed among the unions in the University system so that workers will not be able to unite to jointly fight for improved funding of the education sector.
The best way to counter this agenda to sow division is for the striking unions to place before the federal government a bold demand for the immediate and unconditional payment of the backlog of earned allowance due to all members of the non-academic staff in federal universities. This is the demand alongside with a call for improved funding of education and democratic management of schools that SSANU, NASU and NAAT should be putting forward and organizing mass protests and other actions around at the moment.
It is not an accident that while non-academic staff are groaning in pain because of their unpaid backlog of earned allowance, the Buhari government has just paid N280 million to a few past presidents as allowance for vehicles. This is another evidence that this is a government of the rich and corrupt. Now more than ever, we need a mass workers party that can ensure the coming to power of a government of workers and poor which armed with socialist programmes can ensure that Nigeria’s wealth is used to pay workers a living wage, provide free education health care, well-paid job for the jobless, houses for the homeless and a better life for all.
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Are you dissatisfied with government underfunding of education, poor remuneration of staff and the poor facilities on campuses? The ERC is a group of students and workers activists campaigning for improved funding of education and in defense of the rights of students and staff. Please join us today so that together we can fight for a better education system. Tel: 08032251230, 08181665847. E-mail: email@example.com