Strike by non-academic staff of universities has compelled the University of Lagos (Unilag) to postpone screening of Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) candidates which was billed to start on Monday.
The screening, earlier scheduled to end on Dec. 15, is for the 2017/2018 academic session.
In a statement signed in Lagos by Mrs. Taiwo Oloyede, a Senior Assistant Registrar of the institution, Unilag said the screening was postponed indefinitely.
It said that the strike disrupted academic and administrative activities in the university.
“The postponement is indefinite; a new date will be announced.
“Candidates are enjoined to check the university’s website regularly for updates,” it said.
The strike was embarked upon by the three non-academic labour unions in the university.
The unions are Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), Non Academic Staff Union of Universities and Associated Institutions (NASU) and National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).
The three unions downed tools under the aegis of the Joint Action Committee (JAC).
Meanwhile, the National President of SSANU, Mr. Samson Ugwoke, told newsmen that the strike was comprehensive, total and indefinite.
According to him, the strike resulted from Federal Government’s failure to take action on the Sept. 20 Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it signed with the unions.
“It is not just the issue of allowance that we are talking about but also the issue of implementation of a court judgment on our staff schools as well as the issue of acute shortfall in workers’ salaries.
“Most of our people were laid off unjustifiably; they are yet to be reinstated in the university’s payroll.
“We are tired of being tossed around or seen as not important in the running of the university.
We are as important as any other union within the system and need to be given that recognition.
“After several negotiations with the government, we expected that it sees the need to honour whatever agreement reached, but the reverse is the case,” Ugwoke, also the Chairman of the JAC, said.
According to the union leader, activities in Nigerian public universities would be paralysed until JAC achieves its aim.
A former Chairman of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Prince Oriwaye Adefolalu, told pressmen that JAC would not call off the strike until its demands were met.
“This morning, we had to shut the gate of the University of Lagos in compliance with a directive from our national executive committee.
“We are indeed not happy with what is going on in our universities.
We should be seen as a very critical component in the administration of the universities.
“While ASUU is in charge of research and academics, we are in charge of the administration, security, medical and general maintenance of infrastructure in the system.
“We should be treated fairly as there is no way the university can work perfectly without us.’’