NEWS DIGEST – No fewer than 1,000 non academic staff of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka (UNN), on Thursday protested the nonpayment of February salary to workers.
Some of the placards carried by protesters include, “VC pay workers February salary, ” Our families are dying of hunger”, “A worker deserves his wage’’.
The workers, who blocked the administrative block of the university said they would remain there until their demands were met.
Addressing newsmen, Mr Paul Erua, the Chairman, Joint Committee Action (JAC) of non-teaching staff in UNN said the protest was to ask Prof Benjamin Ozumba, the Vice chancellor of the University to pay workers their February salary.
The unions that make up JAC are Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) and Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU).
Arua listed other demand to include payments of workers 17 per cent shortfall of August 2017 salary, promotion arrears and payment of earned allowance to workers whose names were omitted during the last payment.
“Workers will continue to occupy the UNN administrative block until we receive salary for the month of February.
“We will not go, even if we receive bank alert of February salary but it is not complete.
“Our demand must be met, if not, we will stay here till 4.pm today and by tomorrow morning, we will come back to continue,” he said.
The chairman said JAC wrote a letter to UNN management dated March 7, seeking for explanation while February salary had not been paid but the management failed to reply.
“It is because the management failed to reply our letter to explain why February has not being paid, that is why the non teaching staff embarked on this protest.
“In the middle of the protest some members started receiving bank alert of February salary but it is 70 per cent, remaining 30 per cent.
“What it means is that the bursar of UNN has this money with him but refused to pay workers, only to wait till we started protest.
“This protest will continue until the bursar pay us the remaining 30 per cent and met some of our other of demands, ”he said.
When contacted the VC said the university had paid workers the February salary according to subvention sent to UNN for February, adding that he was in Abuja because of shortfall of February subvention.
“UNN workers have been paid for February; their leadership is being used to attack my administration.
On other demands of the non-teaching staff, the VC said they were national issues and only Federal Government had answers to them.
Ozumba however, expressed concern that non-teaching staff leadership was being used by some people who were contesting for UNN Vice-chancellorship to blackmail his administration.
NAN gathered that Ozumba would be completing his five years VC tenure on June 14, 2019. (NAN)