THE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Taraba State University (TASU) chapter has declared a total, comprehensive and indefinite strike action.
This follows a permission by the National Secretariat of ASUU to TASU branch to embark on the strike action to press home its demands and the state government’s rebuttal of claims that it is not owing workers’ salaries.
Arising from a congress meeting, the union insists that the rationale behind their action is hinged on government’s failure to pay earned academic allowances, promotion arrears, fractional payment of salaries to staff as well as unsettled staff pension and gratuity scheme.
Samuel Shitaa, TASU ASUU chairman, noted that other reasons for the industrial action includes the non-implementation of agreements and perimeter fencing of the institution.
Reacting to the strike action, the state government, through the Commissioner for Tertiary Education, Edward Baraya, in a telephone interview said the union has not communicated their action to the state government.
He wondered why ASUU would take such a decision when the present government is doing everything possible to address the issues before leaving office.
Also reacting, the special adviser to the governor on media and publicity, Bala Dan-Abu, in a press statement, said the outgoing governor is owing no worker salaries.
Dan-Abu’s statement reads: “The outgoing administration of his excellency, arc Darius Dickson Ishaku, executive governor of Taraba state, is not owing any group of workers in the state monthly salaries and, therefore, will not be leaving behind any burden arising from unpaid emoluments for the in-coming administration.
“This clarification became necessary following a press statement issued recently on behalf of the in-coming administration of Lt Col Agbu Kefas, the governor-elect which contained a promise to pay salary arrears in its first 100 days.
“This veiled accusation is wrong and unnecessary. The Ishaku administration never toyed with the welfare of workers in its eight years of stewardship in the state. It had consistently paid their salaries since it assumed office in 2015, most of the time before the end of every month.
“We find this so-called promise to pay outstanding salary arrears made on behalf of the governor-elect not only misplaced but also misleading.
“It is also surprising coming from an in-coming administration widely known and regarded to be an offspring of the the present government of his excellency, arc Darius Ishaku.
“We think we needed to set the records straight, hence this rebuttal.”