The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) has threatened an industrial action over delay in the payment of their new minimum wage by the Federal Government.
SSANU stated this in a statement signed by Mr Salaam Abdussobur, its National Public Relations Officer, and made available to newsmen on Monday in Abuja.
It said that it was unfortunate that while workers in other sectors have started enjoying the new wage, university workers appeared to have been forgotten.
The association said the delay was unfair even after the federal government and the organised labour had concluded negotiations on the new minimum wage and the consequential adjustment, the university workers were yet to be paid the new wage.
According to the statement, the association expresses its dismay over the delay in the implementation of the new National Minimum Wage for its members and workers in the university system.
“We note that the negotiations over the National Minimum Wage was quite protracted and spanning over a period of two years.
“With the conclusion of the negotiations, it was assumed that the implementation would be seamless and require no further agitations to ensure it is equalised across all the sectors of employees.
“Unfortunately, however, months after the agreements were concluded and dusted, it seems the workers in the university system have been forgotten in the scheme of things.
“While workers in other sectors have started enjoying the increment in the salaries, the university system has not.
“Sadly, prices of goods and services immediately shot up as soon as the minimum wage was implemented in those sectors, and with the university sector still operating on the old minimum wage, thereby causing financial hardships and difficulties for our members,” the statement added.
The association said that as members were patiently waiting to be paid the new wage, there has not been any explanation from the government why the payment was delayed.
“As a consequence, our members are becoming increasingly restive and agitated over the obvious neglect of the university sector in the implementation of the national minimum wage act.
“It is sad and unfortunate that there has been no reason adduced for this delay,” it said.
The association, therefore, declared that: “We hereby draw the attention of the Federal Government and all relevant stakeholders to this delay and demand the implementation of the new wage regime and payment of its arrears without further delay.
“We have been patient enough and have shown great understanding with the government on many of its policies.
“This understanding and patience should however not be at the expense or to the detriment of our welfare and incomes.
“With the situation of things, it is becoming clearer to us that except an industrial action is undertaken, the new national minimum wage may never be implemented in the university system.
“We hereby sound a note of warning to ensure the immediate payment of the minimum wage in order to guarantee industrial peace in the university system.”