FUOYE: In anticipation of a walkout over unpaid salary, NASU and SSANU

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On Tuesday, members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) of Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) peacefully demonstrated at the university’s main entrance.

The institution’s non-teaching employees are requesting payment from the federal government for their salaries that have been withheld for the last four months.

The resentful members held posters that said, among other things, “We are not beggars, FG pays our salaries,” “NASU/SSANU says no to injustice in the payment of withheld salaries,” and “NASU/SSANU members are not second class citizens.”

Speaking to reporters, Comrade Ayeni Abraham, the interim NASU chairman in FUOYE, charged that the federal government was indifferent to their situation.

“We are protesting because the federal government has withheld our salaries for the last four months,” he said. The fact that we are still functioning at this level is really regrettable. We had been waiting a long time for this money.

“We were pushing for this money under President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration in 2022, and our national leadership had been meeting with the government to request this money at that time.

The FG showed insensitivity to laborers’ predicament. They outright refused to return our money. We continued the struggle for our money when President Bola Tinubu took office. Promise after promise and Memorandum after Memorandum passed with no outcome.

“Our national headquarters gave us instructions today to conduct this demonstration in order to demand the payment of four months’ worth of salary arrears. Four months’ worth of salary arrears were paid to our ASUU colleagues at the cost of non-teaching workers on campus.

We are unable to endure this suffering in the future. We’ve been denied pay for the last four months and we’re here to record our issues with FG. We have a right to this money, and it is long overdue. That is our goal after all our effort.

“Our national leadership will be having their own protest in Abuja on Thursday after this one,” he continued. They are holding a meeting the day following the demonstration. All of these activities will stop if the FG is prepared to pay our debt; however, if the FG is unable to do so, there may be a complete shutdown, which we will start at an unspecified time.

Faleye Benjamin, the SSANU chairman in FUOYE and his counterpart, stated that union members are struggling with the challenging economic conditions in addition to the four months of salary withholding.

“We anticipate that FG will take the necessary action in a short amount of time,” he stated. Our primary purpose in employing this protest tactic is to avoid going on strike. We continue to be agitated because we still have a strong belief in our country and think that going on strike should be the final resort.

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