Members of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), working in Nigeria offices of West Africans Examination Council (WAEC), have threatened to withdraw their services from October 14.
The General Secretary of NASU, Peters Adeyemi, in a statement on Sunday, said the action, which is slated to commence on the October 14, became necessary following WAEC management’s delay in responding to the union’s previous letters.
On the letters, NASU said it listed a review of scheme of service, need to create more establishment for its members, and the refusal of the management to implement the policy on ex-grata. It also listed the dichotomy of payment allowance to members serving Council’s Meetings amongst others as its requests.
Mr Adeyemi said none of the union’s letters to WAEC management has been responded to so far.
“I, therefore, express concerns about the nonchalance of WAEC management in their treatment of these important lingering issues, which could put the global campaign for decent work policy and wellbeing of workers in WAEC Nigeria in jeopardy.
“It is on this premise that your management is hereby given a period of 21 days from the date herein to positively resolve all the issues listed above.
“Failing to do this would leave the union with no other option than to direct our members in WAEC throughout Nigeria to proceed on total strike by Monday, Oct. 14.”
The letters also listed irregular recruitment of examination officers and the incessant and unwarranted query to some union’s officers as the union’s grievances.
Mr Adeyemi noted that though the union’s headquarters is reliably informed that work on re-review of the scheme of service has reached an appreciable level, the management’s alleged reluctance to harmonise the grey areas is delaying its approval and operation.
“In view of the importance of scheme of service in daily administration, it is highly imperative that the Head National Office (HNO), not only talk the talk but also walk the walk as he promised in one of the meetings held with NASU executive branch committee.
“Part of the agreement is to immediately set up a committee of management and NASU to work on the grey areas and come up with scheme of service that meets international standard and the yearnings of staff.”
The union said the review of scheme of service has been lingering since the year 2013 till date without any positive resolution despite the union’s favourable disposition to collective bargaining with the WAEC management on the matter.
The NASU scribe, who described the level of stagnation of officers in the Council as worrisome, said the situation is a clear case of injustice on the affected staff.
He said: “The truth of the matter is that the affected staffers are due for promotions and are also qualified but they are denied.
“I therefore call for the creation of additional Establishments to take care of the affected staff in the spirit of fairness and equity.”
NASU also flayed the decision of WAEC to neglect the implementation of the policy on ex-gratia.
“The union believes that it is improper for the payment to be stopped midway, as there is no justification to change the goal post in the middle of a game.
“The stoppage is a gimmick from the management to polarise the workers in the council. Therefore, those who were schemed out of the payment should be paid without delay,” Adeyemi stated.
NASU also decried the dichotomy of payment allowance to members serving the council’s meetings.
“The dichotomy in payment of allowances to staff serving council’s meetings and conduct of examinations offshore is a great injustice which should be stopped as there is no justification for such pernicious action as what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.
“Such equality and fairness should be maintained in the payment of allowances to those involved in such crucial and important assignments,” the union noted.
The union said the management should as a matter of policy look inward on the employment of Examination Officers as some staff are already trained and have the qualification to assume such position.
According to Mr Adeyemi, this is better instead of employment of fresh hands that need to be trained in order to fit into the system.
NASU also observed the regularity of queries issued to some of the union officers noting that most of the queries are issued based on flimsy and inconsequential offences, which, it said, is a form of intimidation, targeted at witch-hunting the members of the union.