UNIJOS ASUU, VC disagree on strike
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at the University of Jos (UNIJOS), yesterday, faulted the Vice Chancellor, Professor Hayford Mafuyai, on his comment that the ongoing strike by the union surprised him because members did not give the management prior notice.
“We consider the VC’s claims that we did not give him and the management any prior notice an insult. We are not a lawless union. We followed due procedure to the letter before embarking on the strike,” Dr. Christopher Piwune told Daily Trust in Jos, yesterday.
He added: “We know the procedures; there is none that we circumvented. We keep to the labour laws of the country.”
The Vice Chancellor had said on Monday that the strike took him by surprise. “The strike took me by surprise because I was not given any notice, as required by industrial law. There was completely no fair hearing; the university management, students, parents and stakeholders are shocked and in the dark over the said.
But Dr. Piwune provided evidence of written communication, which indicated that the union wrote the Vice Chancellor on June 19, reminding him of promises made by the management to pay the Earned Academic Allowance, and Postgraduate Supervision Allowance to members.
Piwune added that they also warned that members would proceed on strike if their demands were not met.
“The VC replied us through the deputy registrar in his
Mafuyai office, on June 23, promising that the balance of the Earned Academic Allowances will be paid in two weeks; and the Postgraduate Supervision Allowance will be paid at the end of July,” he said, adding that on August 6, following the failure of the management to fulfil its promise, a meeting was held between the union, its zonal leadership and the management.
“The Vice Chancellor at the meeting said our demands will be met by August 21. We are approaching the end of October, two months after the August 21 date he promised to meet our demands,” he said.
On claims by the VC that the implementation of the Single Treasury Account (TSA) policy has affected the university’s access to funds, Piwune said, “it is not true. The statement is deceitful”.
“The VC signed a letter on January 3, 2014, promising to pay. He signed another one on April 7, 2014, to make part payment on May 4 of 2014. He again shifted the date to June 3, 2015. Was there TSA in place at such periods? When they promised to address all issues at the end of July, was there TSA,” he added.