Economy

Plateau tertiary institutions call off 7-week-old strike

The Joint Union of Plateau State-owned Tertiary Institution (JUPTI), on Monday, called off its seven weeks old strike.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the workers had embarked on the strike on April 23, over alleged poor funding of the seven tertiary institutions.

The workers also wanted improved infrastructure, exemption from Treasury Single Account (TSA), the recruitment of more personnel, among other demands.

JUPTI chairman Paul Dakogol, who announced the suspension of the action at a news conference on Monday in Jos, said that government had addressed some of its demands.

“The state government has been able to address some of the issues that informed the strike. Last week, the union and the government entered into an agreement on issues that cannot be addressed immediately.

“The issues addressed included the payment of monies withheld over the ‘No-Work-No-Pay policy and outstanding arrears to retirees and families of deceased colleagues.

“Government has also paid check-up dues, deductions for cooperative bodies, and also remitted gratuity for the months of February and March 2019,” he said.

He regretted that recruitments were last carried out in 2006, saying that the strength of teaching and non-teaching staff was not commensurate with the population of the students.

“This is even more worrisome as the basic requirements for new programmes and accreditation of same are predicated upon sufficient human resources,” he said.

Dakogol said that recruitment of more personnel for the institutions was in progress, adding that the state government had approved the exemption of the institutions from TSA.

He said that the request for more funding was also receiving the required attention, adding that the finance ministry would liaise with various institutions to work out modalities for the release of the withheld 25 percent Internally Generated Revenue resulting from the TSA implementation.

“Government has also agreed to look into the payment of peculiarity allowances to academic and non-academic staff. It has also agreed to hasten the approval for the payment of the 24 months pension arrears,” he said.

Dakogol said that the progress in the negotiation with the state government and the agreement signed on 14 June to fulfill other promises, prompted the decision to call off the strike.

He, however, warned that the union would not hesitate to take further actions if the finance ministry violated the terms of the agreement in funding the institutions.

“The education sector has suffered neglect for a long time. We are no longer prepared to accept that,” he said.

-NAN

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