Friday 18 September 2015

UNILAG workers protest over unpaid allowances

Protesting workers of the University of Lagos on Thursday disrupted activities in the school, as they demanded the payment of their ‘earned allowances’.

The workers, comprising members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities and the Non Academic Staff Union, blocked the university gate, an action that hindered human and vehicular traffic for almost three hours.

The demonstration is coming barely 10 days after the students of the university shut the same gate to protest the electrocution of a third-year Accounting student, Miss Oluchi Anaekwe.

But addressing the workers on Thursday, the SSANU Chairman in the school, Mr. Adetomiwa Adekola, said the refusal of the authorities to pay their earned allowances as well as the non-payment of their 13th month allowances from 2007 to 2014 prompted the protest.

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The workers, he also noted, were opposing what they called “the illegal deductions of their contributory pension since July 2004.”

Adekola added, “The workers unequivocally demand the immediate stoppage of further deductions of contributory pension from the salaries of members of staff, as the contributory pension has been deducted from source before the release of subvention for personnel cost by the Federal Government.

“We also demand the payment of earned allowance, in particular, hazard allowance, to all members of staff of the federal universities beginning from July 2009 till date and immediate implementation of the allowance of staff payroll N30,000 and N15,000 for senior and junior employees.”

The union leader, who wondered why the authorities of the university had failed to pay their allowances, noted that other institutions had been paying the money to their workers.

Meanwhile, the authorities, in a statement, have described the protest as an “unprovoked action.”

According the university’s Deputy Registrar, Information, Mr. Olagoke Oke, the protest only aims at breaching the peace of the institution.

The statement read in part; “Management condemns in totality the action of the two Unions (SSANU & NASU) in shutting the gates of the university, thereby disrupting peace on campus when there has been no declaration of trade dispute.