Tertiary institutions under the auspices of Joint Unions of Tertiary Institutions of Kaduna State (JUTIKS), have threatened to go on strike over issues that had lingered for over 12 years.
Chairman of JUTIKS, Mr. Noah Danlami, stated this in a statement issued yesterday in Kaduna.
Danlami said some of the issues include the non-implementation of appropriate salary structures for academic and non-academic staff of tertiary institutions, which came into effect in January 2010.
He alleged that the state government was currently paying only 80 per cent of the old Consolidated Tertiary Institution Salary Structure (CONTISS), which has continued to dampen the moral of the staff.
He maintained that the consequence of poor remuneration in tertiary institutions in the state had led to massive brain drain, especially, among academics, who had left for greener pastures.
Danlami also decried the non-implementation of the 65-year retirement age approved by the state government for academic staff in tertiary institutions, saying it is sheer “lack of political will and misplacement of priority” by the state government towards its tertiary institutions.
He regretted that despite the series of reforms aimed at boosting the education sector, the state has not deemed it fit to motivate teachers and other staff of tertiary institutions.
“The government has not paid lecturers appropriate salaries nor improved the facilities in its tertiary institutions.
“We are, therefore, demanding the immediate implementation of the appropriate salary structures in all our tertiary institutions.
“The state government should also implement the 65-year retirement age without further delay and increase the staff strength in our tertiary institutions, especially academic staff in commensurate with the student’s population”, he said.
He called on the state government to raise the budgetary allocation of tertiary institutions and ensure immediate removal of all charges paid by students of tertiary institutions from Government Treasury Single Account policy.
He warned that failure to comply with the demands will leave the union with no option than to embark on strike, earlier suspended in 2014 on the promise by government that the issues would be addressed.
Also reacting to the mass sack of workers in the state, Danlami said it was “very unfortunate and untimely” considering the spate of insecurity and high level of poverty in the state.
He called on the state government to halt the exercise immediately to prevent the state further increase in criminal tendencies as a result of raising poverty.
According to him, the unions also view the current emphasis on urban road renewal and reconstruction as unnecessary given the hard economic conditions being faced the masses.
He added that huge capital resources were being sunk into the road projects at the expense of other sectors.
The state government, had while justifying the mass sack of workers in a statement on Tuesday, said its finances were being overstretched as a result dwindling finances and a high wage bill.