The ongoing efforts to confirm selection of a new vice chancellor for the University of Calabar has been marred by a protest by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU at the school.
ASUU members are protesting non-payment of their six years unpaid arrears and allowances.
UNICAL is currently in the final stages of selecting a new Vice Chancellor on Thursday 10 September 2020 to replace the outgoing Professor Zana Akpagu whose tenure ends this month.
Chairman of the ASUU in UNICAL, John Edor said the protest is only the beginning and if their entitlements are not paid, they will commence an “Operation Occupy UNICAL” until the issues are addressed, he said.
The ASUU members carried placards with inscriptions such “pay our CES arrears, pay our GSS arrears, pay our post graduate thesis supervision, pay our promotion arrears, pay our study fellowship and conference attendance arrears”.
Edor said the unpaid salaries and arrears range from between four to six years depending on the sub head.
According to him, they have pressed for their arrears for long but the COVID-19 pandemic and IPPIS monster compounded their “vagaries and vicissitudes”.
“Members of ASUU, University of Calabar Chapter have been working and our entitlements have not been paid to us for upward of six years now.
“Such entitlements include teaching of GSS Courses, Graduate Thesis Supervision Allowance, CES Courses, Sandwich programmes, Pre-degree and promotion arrears.
“Some of our members had been employed and they commenced payment of their salaries but a backlog of their salaries is left unpaid and that is what we call salary arrears.
“Even if the federal government has refused to pay our salaries what we have earned which is not one, two, or three but some are running into five, six years should be immediately paid to us.
“We have been asking for our entitlements for long but the COVID-19 pandemic has compounded our vagaries and vicissitudes.
“The lock down has made it impossible for us to go and source for other legitimate means of livelihood to feed our families,” Edor said.
No member of the institution’s administration was on ground to address the protesting lecturers.