Workers in 67 Research and Allied Institutions in Nigerian Universities and Hospitals have resolved to proceed on an indefinite strike.
JORAISU PRESS CONFERENCE
REFUSAL TO IMPLEMENT THE AGREEMENT REACHED‘BETWEEN THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AND THE UNIONS IN THE RESEARCH AND ALLIED INSTITUTIONS SECTOR
On behalf of all members of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU). the Senior Staff Association of Universities, Teaching Hospitals. Research Instit utes and As gociated institutions, (SSAUTHRIAI) and the Academic Staff Union of Research Institutions (ASURI), we wish to welcome you all to this Press Conference.
This Press Conference is called because of the refusal of the Federal Government to implement the agreement reached with JORAISU in December 2010, over which we have issued the Federal Government a 15-day ultimatum to fully implement the 10-year agreement, falling which JORAISU leadership will have no option than to call out its members in about 67 Research and Allied institutions effective Wednesday, 13th October, 2021 for an indefinite strike action, and until the issues in dispute are resolved, the strike action wiiifnot be calied off.
EFFORTS OF THE JORAISU LEADERSHIPiN RESOLVING THE ISSUES IN DISPUTE
The National leadership of JORAISU has so far held thirty-three (33) meetings ,_ .with’ the FedeIai Government and one with the House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture, Calleges and Institutions between year 2010 and year 2018 to no avail since then. JORA!SU have issued 210 days’ ultimatum at 15 different times to Government on this matter.
These were all geared towards getting the Federal Government to act positively on our demands which” are here under listed below:
Non-Payment of 12 months CONRAISS arrears of 53.37 per cent salary increase for which NTTR Kaduna, NVRI Vom, NCAM Iiorin, ASCON Topo, Badagry had been paid part leaving others;
WIthdrawal of Circular on non-skipping of salary Grade Level 10 National Industrial Court of Nigeria judgement In favour of Trade Unions and others;
Retirement age of 65 years for non-research staff as is obtainable in the universities and others;
Peculiar Allowances/Earned Allowances;
Establishment of a central body to be known as National Research Institutes Commission (NARICOM);
Adequate funding of research institutes; and
Release of Scheme/Conditions of Service.
INSENSITIVITY OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT
The National leadership of JORAISU therefore expressed shock and disbelief that the Federal Government can remain unconcerned and be so insensitive to a situation where all the Research and Allied Institutions in Nigeria as listed below have threatened to completely ground the sector indefInitely by going on an indetinite strike action.
Twenty-Five (25) Institutes under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology;
Twenty (20) Institutes under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development;
Two (2) Institutes under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Education; Three (3) Institutes under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment;
One (1) Institute under the supervision of the Federal MinistIy of Environment;
Two (2) Institutes under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Health; One (1) Institute under the supervision of the Federal MinistIy of Water Resources;
Four (4) Institutes under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Mines and Steel Development; ‘
One (1) Institute under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Trade and Investment;
One (1) Institute under the supervision of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs;
One (1) Institute under the supervision of the Federal Minstry of Transport;
One (1) Institute under the supervision of the National Sports Commission;
One (1) Institute under the supervision of the Budget and National Planning Commission; and
Three (3) Institutes under the supervision of the Presidency.
JORAISU leadership noted that this attitude of Government goes to confirm the fact that Government does not believe In the ideology that our country can attain technological development in a few years’ time and side by side is the fact that the attitude of this Government has further shown that our Government is paying lip service to research and technological development.
LEGITIMACY OF JORAISU’S DEMAND
The National leadership of JORAISU noted that the Federal Government confirmed during the stakeholders meeting called by the House Committee on Agriculture, Colleges and Institutions on December, 4th, 2017 as well as the meeting with the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development and JORAISU leadership on 7th December, 2017 agreed that the demands of JORAISU are legitimate and lawful.
That informed the Minister’s promise to speedily address the issues in dispute and present a Memo to the Federal Executive Council on the approval of about N9 billion naira required for the payment of the 12 months’ arrears on CONRAISS.
Thus, we have observed that some of our Research Institutes have been paid’part of the 12 months’ arrears by IPPIS leaving the larger numbers not paid. So we demand that all Research Institutes be paid forthwith, for “’what is good for the goose is good for the gander”.
MEASURES TAKEN TO GET GOVERNMENT HARKEN TO OUR DEMAND
Due to the continued pressure from our restive members on the matter to shut the Research Institutes, the leadership of the Unions wrote to seek audience with the Honourable Minister of Agriculture and Rural Development vide our letters referenced Nos JORAISU/RI/282NOL.V/121 dated 7th June, 2021 and JORAISU/R/282NOL.V/137 dated 15th August, 2021 which the Ministry deliberately refused to respond to up till date. ‘
In view of this foregoing embarrassment from, Government, the leadership of JORAISU met on 8th September, 2021 to consider the long standing agreement it had with Governmentand resolved to serve the Federal Government the first notice of a 15-day ultimatum effective 13th September, 2021 to fully implement the 10-year agreement, failing which JORAISU shall be constrained to call out its members on an IndefInite strike action midnight 27‘” September, 2021.
The leadership noticed with dismay that up till’the expiration of this’ultimatum, Government did not deem it necessary to respond still to our correspondence on the dispute. That notwithstanding, JORAISU leadership being committed to continued dialogue on this matter held another meeting on 27th September, 2021 and agreed to extend the initial 15-day ultimatum by another 15 days from Tuesday, 28th September, 2021 which will expire midnight Tuesday, 12th October, 2021.
Without doubt, it is evidently clear from the above that our continued efforts to promote industrial peace in the Research and Allied Institutions are not being appreciated by Government. However, if by the expiration of this additional 15-day ultimatum, Government fails to do the needful, the leadership of JORAISU would
not be held liable for the strike action that will commence from the midnight of Tuesday, 12‘” October, 2021.
For and on behalf of the Unions.
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