The Senate on Tuesday appealed to the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria (SSASU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASUU) to shelve their planned nationwide strike in the interest of the country.
The upper chamber promised to engage stakeholders to resolve their grievances.
The resolution followed a point of order by Senator Barau Jibrin (Kano North), on the impending nationwide industrial action by the two unions.
The Senate stressed the need to engage SSASU and NASU with a view to amicably resolving their differences.
Jibrin in his lead debate noted that “it is saddening that the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSASU) and Non-academic Staff Union of Nigeria Universities NASUU) have given notice of commencing an industrial action over a number of issues.”
He said that if not addressed and resolved, the action of the union would truncate the smooth running of universities in the country.
He expressed concerns that the issues raised by two unions were matters of concern with the relationship of the two unions with ASUU) and the alleged refusal by the federal government to heed to their request since 2006.
He observed that the grievances of the unions also included the delay in the payment of the gratuity and pension of their members and refusal to attend to other agreements earlier reached with the government.
He said that the claim of the two unions that Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASSU) was being accorded preferential treatment by the Federal Government should be considered. He noted that funds released by the government 80per cent, was earmarked as academic allowances while the 20% was allocated to the non-academic staff.
According to him, rather than accept what they were given by the Federal Government, SSANU and NASU were making fresh demands of the release of N20 billion to non-teaching staff and allowance for 2009 to 2016.
Other senators who contributed to the debate supported that the Senate and other relevant government agencies should quickly step into the matter to avert the looming strike.
Senate President, Ahmad Lawan, commended Jibrin for bring up the matter.
Lawan assured that the Senate would intervene to stop the strike.