The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU Benue State University, BSU chapter has embarked on an indefinite strike.
The Union disclosed this in a press statement signed by Comrade Kwaghfan V. Tarnongo, Chairperson ASUU- BSU and Terrumun H. Gajir Secretary
ASUU -BSU which was made availae to Peoples’ Daily on Friday.
The chapter said it has the approval of the the National body of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUUNational) to resume the strike the Branch suspended on the 26″ June, 2023, maintaining that the permission to proceed on this strike was formally communicated to members of the Branch on Thursday 1st February, 2024 on the floor of an emergency Congress held at the Arts Theatre Complex.
It also, explained that the strike action is TOTAL, INDEFINITE AND COMPREHENSIVE until ALL the demands of the Branch are satisfactorily addressed by the Benue State University (BSU) Administration.
BSU ASUU said the reason for resumption of the strike followed the adamant refusal of the University Administration to address the welfare concerns of the Union after series of engagements, noting that the most provocative of these was a tripartite agreement reached in January 2023 between the Benue State Government (BNSG), BSU Administration and Governing Council and ASUU-BSU.
“This agreement which stipulated increased funding to the university to address the issues of promotion and annual increment was a road map to industrial harmony in BSU.
“To the credit of the BNSG, it has kept its part of the agreement and has continued to sustain the additional funds to the university for the specific purposes of implementing promotions and annual increment and to defray the accumulated arrears thereof.
“Regrettably, the same cannot be said of the BSU Administration, meanwhile the University has religiously collected the additional funds from government but has refused to pay the staff their entitlements. This breach of the January 2023 agreement by the BSU Administration led to the May 2023 strike by the Branch.
“ASUU-BSU graciously suspended this strike on the 26th June 2023 following assurances by the BSU Administration to adhere to the January 2023 agreement. Unfortunately, the University has remained in breach of the agreement by failing to pay the arrears of annual increment since it started collecting the funds from the BNSG from January, 2023 to January, 2024.
“From the foregoing, it becomes evident that the Management Benue State University has virtually pushed the Branch into the current strike action by its apathy to the welfare concerns and legitimate entitlements of Academic Staff of the University. The current strike action is embarked upon because of the following items that were not resolved by the University administration:
a. Implementation and payment of accrued arrears of 2021, 2022, and 2023 promotions
b. Implementation and payment of accrued arrears of annual incremental step.
c. April 2023 salary arrears
d. Shortfall in the salaries of staff of the College of Health Sciences.
e. Payment of Earned Academic Allowance (EAA) f. Payment of Sundry allowances(PG, GST, EPS, SANDWICH etc)
g. Non enrolment/implementation of National Health Insurance Scheme (NHTS) amongst other issues.
“ASUU BSU issues this statement to inform the public about the reasons for the current strike and the efforts the Branch had made to avert it through dialogue with the BSU Administration. We regret that our efforts at dialogue have not achieved the desired expectations.
“We implore our students, the Benue public and BSU stakeholders, at large, to prevail on the Benue State University Administration to ensure that the welfare concerns of the branch are conclusively resolved”, the statement read.