The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), the Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) have commenced industrial action at the University of Calabar.
Newsmen, who went round the University, observed that apart from security personnel and medical staff, every other staff has deserted office.
The workers had accused the Federal Government of reneging on the implementation of the 2014 agreement entered iwith the three unions (SSANU, NASU and NAAT).
Confirming the strike action, the Chairman, Board of Media and Community Relations, Dr Joe Ekpang told our correspondent, “They just went on strike today; I can’t really say anything on the effect on the Institution as they have just started it today. The strike was declared today,” he stated.
Speaking on phone on Monday, the Special Assistant on Labour Matters to the Vice Chancellor, University of Calabar, Dr Ini Ekpo, said that the bone of contention was the non implementation of the 2009 agreement.
“the agreement was entered between the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) and Federal Government of Nigeria,” he said.
He said that another reason for the strike was the refusal of the Federal Government to obey the industrial court ruling.
He added that “another reason for the strike was that, sometime in 2014 or thereabout, the Federal Government asked University staff to close staff schools and remove staff schools in the pay roll of the Universities, which was contrary to the agreement in 2009.
“The Universities went to National Industrial Court and the ruling was in favour of the Universities. The Court directed Federal Government to rescind her decision on that; that has not been done and it is contemptuous, we are not going to allow the University to operate until they obey that court order,” he emphasized.
On whether the strike was in sympathy with ASUU, Dr Ekpo emphatically declared, “Our strike is not in sympathy with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU). ASUU is on their own and we are on our own.
“Our strike commences fully today in the University of Calabar and every other University in Nigeria and it is indefinite,” he stressed.