Taraba Varsity ASUU urge Gov. Agbu to expedite actions on Staff welfare, others

By Sylvanus Viashima, Jalingo

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Taraba State University (TSU) Jalingo chapter, has called on the Taraba State Government to expedite actions to address the issues surrounding the welfare of her members and other pending issues in the school for the smooth operation of the school.

Dr. Mbave Joshua Garba, Chairperson of the TSU chapter of the Union who addressed a press conference at the end of the Union’s Congress on Thursday said that staff are currently owed six months salaries including July and August, and Seven months fractional salaries.

Garba noted that other key issues that have led to industrial disharmony in the past are also still pending despite the Memorandum of Action reached between the Union, school management and the State government.

“ASUU-TSU Congress raised concerns about the non-implementation of Law No. 4 of the Taraba State House of Assembly, which outlines various funding sources for the University. These funding sources include 5% of the monthly State statutory allocation, 5% of the monthly statutory allocation of Local governments in the state, 2.5% of contracts awarded by the state and local governments, 2% as state education levy from charges on guests in hotels in the state, and other sources as determined by the University Council. The lack of proper funding has negatively impacted the smooth running of the institution.

“Our members expressed deep concern over the inadequate funding of the University, which has led to delays and irregular and sometimes fractional payment of salaries. In summary, we are owed six (6) full months and seven (7) months fractional salaries (it may interest you to know that as at today, our members are yet to be paid their salaries for the month of July and August). It is worrisome to mention that our members are going through excruciating economic realities in the wake of subsidy removal and inflationary forces. The general public may wish to note that besides other issues, this has been a major trigger of strike actions in the institution over the years.

“The non-implementation of the Memorandum of Action (MOA) signed on 18th March 2021 by the Taraba State Government, Taraba State University Management, and the ASUU-TSU branch is demoralizing. The union members are owed Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) dating back to 2015, and the government lacks clarity regarding staff pension and gratuity. Furthermore, there has been no progress on constructing the perimeter fence to enhance the security of the University as agreed upon in the MoA. Similarly, the outstanding promotion arrears for 2020, 2021, and 2022, including the annual step increment from October 2020 to July 2021, have not been paid to its members.

“In light of these issues, ASUU-TSU calls on the Taraba State Government to take urgent and concrete steps to address these concerns and ensure the sustainable development and stability of Taraba State University. ASUU-TSU urges all relevant stakeholders, including the government, to engage in constructive dialogue and implement solutions to resolve these pressing issues for the betterment of Taraba State University”, Mbave said.

Our Correspondent recall that the State Governor Dr Kefas Agbu recently slashed the tuition fees of the University by half, thereby cutting down drastically on the income of the University.

Our Correspondent further recall that the ASUU-TSU had embarked on several industrial actions that paralyzed both academic and nonacademic activities in the University during the last regime of Governor Darius Ishaku to press home their demands to no avail.

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