1st May: As NAAT Presents 4-Point Demand To Incoming Government
By Our Correspondent
May 1st globally is celebrated as the International Workers’ Day and is set aside to commemorates the struggles and gains made by workers and the labour movement, towards improved working conditions, such as better pay, shorter working days, and safer working conditions.
The theme of this year is centred on “Workers Rights and Socio – Economic Justice”.
Already, President Muhammadu Buhari, in his message to Nigerian workers, implored the incoming government, to maintain sound national industrial relations with workers and respect their rights.
In an address to the workers, jointly presented by the national president of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Joseph Ajaero and his Trade Union Congress (TUC) counterpart, Comrade Festus Osifo, the Labour leaders agreed that it is critical they begin by enthroning justice for workers through the drive for eradication of all untoward industrial practices in their workplaces.
It is in the same light that one of the university-based unions, an affiliate of (NLC), National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), sought for immediate intervention of the outgoing/incoming administration, in four areas of interest that borders on the welfare of it’s members.
According to NAAT national president, Comrade Ibeji Nwokoma, the government has failed to address germane issues concerning the university education sector in the areas of infrastructure, training, research and welfare.
He said that none of the items contained in the agreement received by the minister of Education, Mal. Adamu Adamu has been implemented.
The agreement borders on: Payment of arrears of occupational hazard allowance, payment of six months withheld salaries, offer of 23.5 per cent salary increase, payment of earned allowance (EA) arrears, salary payment platform and non-victimisation of members.
He said, “We wish to draw the attention of the public to the fact that the 2009 renegotiation has become more of an abandoned project. FGN and NAAT have not concluded the renegotiation as claimed by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige. We therefore use this forum to call on FGN to appoint a new chairman to conclude the renegotiation.
“NAAT is very concerned with the recent 40 per cent salary increment that has left – out members of our union. We therefore, call on government to immediately correct this injustice to members of NAAT by implementing, as well as payment of the arrears of 23.5% earlier approved for our members with effect from September, 2022.”
Comrade Nwokoma called on the federal government, particularly NUC, to as a matter of necessity, ensure that practicals and the critical roles of academic technologists as one of the tripod upon which the university is built, is addressed. That is through : classrooms for lecturers, library for librarians and laboratories , workshops and studios for academic technologists.