The non-teaching staff of the Anambra State-owned Chukwuemeka Odumegwu Ojukwu University (COOU) has given the university management up to Wednesday, August 14 to meet their demands or face indefinite industrial action by the staff.
The workers, who are members of National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), under the Joint Action Committee of Trade Unions (JAC) had earlier issued several notices of industrial action.
The groups claimed that the university was owing them over N4.6 billion.
Handing down the August 14 deadline in the JAC-COOU Bulletin No.2, the unions said they had fully notified the Governing Council and University Management of the actions if their demands were not met on the said date.
In the bulletin jointly signed by the JAC leader/Chairman, NAAT-COO; Comrade A.C. Okeke, Chairman, NASU-COOU, Comrade F.O. Nwaibe and Chairman, SSANU-COOU, Comrade Oddih Obiora, the unions said they have exhausted all avenues possible to avoid an industrial action but the school management had remained unappreciative.
“As we prepare to close down the university, the staff unions in the university have pleaded, dialogued and signed various agreements/MOUs with the Governing Council. We have also brought all our demands to the university management and Governing Council of the university and frowned at the various issues.
“Remember that in our usual way of ‘understanding the financial predicaments’ of the university, we shelved our intended strike earlier scheduled for 15th May, 2019, (as in Bulletin No. 1).
“This was to pave way for proper negotiations with the university authorities but nothing has come out from those negotiations as our conditions of service keep worsening.
“While the university management are maintaining their stance of ‘there is no money,’ Council are maintaining their snail-speed and foot-dragging approach to our demands,” he said.
The N4.6 billion owed the unions said, covers Monetization arrears, Promotion arrears, CONTISS and CONUASS arrears, Earned Allowance arrears, Non-Remittance of Contributory Pension Fund Deductions/Non payment of employers (10 per cent) portion of the fund, PAYE deductions and remittance, Non-remittance of National Housing Fund Contributions and Non-remittance of union dues/levies after deduction.