Ike Nnachi, Abakaliki
Activities at the four campuses of Ebonyi State University (EBSU) were completely crippled on Thursday as all workers in the institution embarked on indefinite strike.
The University Joint Action Committee locked all the entrance gates to the campuses and placed an inscription on them announcing to staff, students and visitors that they were on strike.
The students and staff who came to school turned back and returned to their homes.
A strike monitoring committee was on hand to ensure compliance.
The Joint Action Committees of Trade Union (JACTU) said the decision was taken to press home their demand for improvement of workers’ welfare.
Chairman, Senior Staff Association of Nigerian University, (SSANU) EBSU chapter, Elias Odigbo, called on the state government to pay the workers their salaries and backlogs.
He also called on government to give financial backing to their promotions.
He said: “We are gathered here to express our grievances that the university is not fair to us. The people that were promoted were given only but paper; no financial effect.
“They refered those promoted to the Council and the school management. Since 2017 that they were inaugurated, they’ve never presented even a promotion matter to the Council for deliberation.
“Our salary is not coming as and when due. This is May and the last salary we received was paid on February 2023 and our pension contribution when it is deducted is supposed to be remitted to our pension manager, but it is not being remitted.
“The last time it was remitted was in February, 2022, even when it’s deducted till date.
“Also, conversion was conducted and interview successful and it was published, but unfortunately before we knew it, we heard that everything has been cancelled while they are employing people to fill in the gap from outside even when we have qualified personnel to fill in the gap.
“And the university is complaining that they lack fund even when they are employing people from outside the school.
“Another issue that forced us to go on this strike is the ten months arrears; our salary was deducted 20% and the management said that they’re going to refund us but till date, they only refunded us five months remaining 10-months.
“Yes, we are not fighting government nor the management, but our prayers is that, let our salary be paid up till date, our arrears be paid, let our promotion be released with financial effect and the conversion that was conducted be released,” he said.
Chairman, Non-Academic Staff Union of Education and Association Institution, Nwovu Michael Origbo, described the strike as indefinite and appealed to Ebonyi State Government to address the demands for the interest of the workers.
On his part, Okoro Basil, Ebonyi state chairman National Association of Academic Technology, (NAAT) lamented that workers subscribed for National Housing Fund but regrettably, the money was deducted from their salary but was not remitted until the portal was shutdown leaving EBSU as the only institution that did not register for the scheme.
He further noted that the strike would last until when their complaints and grievances are permanently addressed.
The School management could not be reached for comments.