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University technologists threaten strike over FG’s failure to implement agreement

The National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), has threatened to embark on an indefinite strike over the non-implementation of the memorandum of agreement it signed…

The National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), has threatened to embark on an indefinite strike over the non-implementation of the memorandum of agreement it signed with the federal government.

Mr Kenneth Nwaji, NAAT Chairman, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture Umudike (MOUAU) made this known while addressing newsmen on Monday, at Umudike.

Nwaji, who is the South East Zonal Public Relations Officer of NAAT, read the memo from the national secretary, Abuja, as signed by the General Secretary, Mr Abubakar Yusuf.

He said the federal government had been issued a two-week ultimatum starting from February 28, and ending on March 14, to address all the union’s grievances.

Nwaji said that NAAT would hold its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on March 17, for a possible declaration of two weeks warning strike.

According to him, a NEC meeting will hold on March 30 and 31, to review the situation and take a final decision for indefinite strike action.

The group alleged delay in the renegotiation of the FGN/NAAT 2009 Agreement, insensitivity and provocative attitude of the government on the matter.

It also accused the government of failing to release enabling circulars for CONTISS 14 and 15 as contained in the FGN/NAAT MOUs of September 2017, November 2020 and that of February 2021.

The union decried non-release of funds for payment of Earned Allowance to defray the backlog of arrears which led to some branches battling with payment for the period 2009 to 2012 only.

It complained about the non-availability of adequate, modern and functional laboratory equipment, as well as non-payment of arrears of minimum wage.

Other issues raised by the union were the deplorable conditions of laboratories/workshops/studios in the nation’s universities and poor funding of state universities.

It also expressed worry over the non-composition of Governing Councils for the Universities of Agriculture for more than a year now, saying that the development had caused unnecessary delay in the promotions of its members in those institutions. (NAN)