The Academic Staff Union of Universities, (ASUU) Taraba State University Chapter, on Tuesday declared an indefinite strike after its meeting.
The chapter Chairman, Dr Samuel Shikaa, said this while addressing journalists shortly after the meeting.
Shikaa said the union resolved to embark on industrial action to demand compliance with an agreement the state government and the university management signed with the union.
He listed some of their demands as the commencement of their contributory pension scheme, prompt payment of their Earned Academic Allowance (EAA), among others.
According to him, Taraba State University has no pension arrangement and you can quote me anywhere.
“Families of some of our colleagues that have died only received paltry sums for burial rites which to us are not terminal benefits. And to some others who left this institution to other universities, they have nothing to benefit.
“Our members are ready to commence deduction from their take home for the contributory pension scheme but we also want the government’s commitment that their percentage of the contribution will be honored. The EAA allowance for excess workload since 2013 has accumulated and has not been paid,” he said.
Responding, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Vincent Tenebe, said 75 percent of the demands by members of ASUU had been met.
Tenebe explained that the strike was unnecessary and urged members of the union to call off their demonstration for the sake of the students, while they continued negotiation with the management of the institution.
He also dismissed claims that the government was not ready to comply with its part payment to the contributory pension scheme.
He said since the MoU was signed with ASUU, the management and government went into action, adding that 75 per cent of their demands have been met. “ASUU has been demanding the commencement of the contributory pension scheme and when I came in as Vice-Chancellor in 2017, they brought up this demand which was part of the MoA.
“I went further to present a memo to the governing council of this university in 2018 and the council acting as an independent body and regarded as the sole employer of labour in universities by government regulation, approved that we can start that contributory pension scheme. This means that every member of staff that keys into this pension scheme will contribute 7.5 percent of his basic salary while the government will also contribute 7.5 percent which will be sent to the administrator of a pension for saving till when the employee retires.
“After that approval, I informed all the members of staff of this university through a circular that the governing council has approved the commencement of the pension scheme and we went further to appoint a desk officer from the registry for the pension scheme.
“We also invited some pension administrators who came to create awareness and also did some marketing of their companies to staff for them to fill their forms and submit to the school management for the commencement of the pension scheme. Since 2018, they have failed to produce their pension administrators and their account numbers for management to utilise and in fact, this university wanted to be used as a role model for other institutions in this state,” he said.