Three unions at the Ebonyi State University, Abakaliki, began an indefinite strike, on Thursday, over unpaid wages.
They are the university’s chapter of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Other Associated Institutions (NASU), and the National Association of Academic Technologists.
The striking workers locked all entrances to the school, paralysing activities at the institution, which is owned by the Ebonyi State Government.
Chairperson of SSANU, Elias Odigbo, said the indefinite strike was to protest against the non-payment of three months’ salaries.
He said the last time the varsity paid salaries was in February.
“We also want the government to actualise our promotion since 2016. Since 2016 no promotion has been made, especially for non-academic staff.
“Another reason is that during the COVID-19 lockdown, there were 20 per cent deductions from our salaries with promises to refund the deductions.
“Management refunded only five months’ deductions up till now.
“We have 10 months of deductions left, and we have been begging for a refund to no avail.
“We also need conversion of staff for those who have acquired additional qualifications.
“We are not fighting the government or the school management. All we are asking for is our rights. The workers need their wages to work diligently,” he said.
Also speaking, the NASU chairperson, Nwovu Origbo, appealed to the state government to pay the outstanding three months’ salaries and refund the 20 per cent of COVID-19 deductions.
Mr Origbo said the strike would continue until the workers’ demands were met.
“We are not going to call off the strike until all our demands are met. We are not beggars but workers,” he said.
Responding to the strike, the state Commissioner for Education, Sunday Nwangele, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that he would address a news conference on Friday.
Support PREMIUM TIMES’ journalism of integrity and credibility
Good journalism costs a lot of money. Yet only good journalism can ensure the possibility of a good society, an accountable democracy, and a transparent government.
For continued free access to the best investigative journalism in the country we ask you to consider making a modest support to this noble endeavour.
By contributing to PREMIUM TIMES, you are helping to sustain a journalism of relevance and ensuring it remains free and available to all.
TEXT AD: Call Willie – +2348098788999