BSU ASUU declares indefinite strike

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, Benue State University branch (ASUU-BSU), has declared an indefinite strike.

This is to address longstanding issues related to better conditions of service.

The move follows the failure of the Benue State University (BSU) Administration to meet the demands of the union despite previous agreements.

The union had suspended a similar strike on June 26, 2023, after assurances were given by the state government and the university’s management that the union’s demands would be addressed.

In a joint statement issued by the Branch chairman, Comrade Kwaghfan Tarnongo, and Secretary, Terrumun Gajir, the union announced the commencement of a “total, indefinite, and comprehensive strike” after obtaining approval from the National body.

The statement added that the national body of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, granted permission for the resumption of the suspended strike.

The decision was communicated to the branch members on February 1, 2024, during an emergency Congress held at the Arts Theatre Complex.

The union highlighted the refusal of the BSU Administration to address the welfare concerns of its members despite previous engagements.

It emphasized a tripartite agreement reached in January 2023, involving the Benue State Government, BSU Administration, and Governing Council, which aimed to address issues related to promotion and annual increment through increased funding.

The union acknowledged the state government’s commitment to fulfilling its part of the agreement by providing additional funds to the university.

“To the credit of the Benue State Government, 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.” The statement read in part.

The union stated that the unresolved issues that prompted the current strike include the implementation and payment of accrued arrears of 2021, 2022, and 2023 promotions, payment of annual incremental step arrears, April 2023 salary arrears, shortfall in the salaries of staff in the College of Health Sciences, payment of Earned Academic Allowance (EAA), payment of Sundry allowances (PG, GST, EPS, SANDWICH), and the non-enrollment/implementation of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHTS), among others.

ASUU-BSU urged students, the Benue public, and BSU stakeholders to advocate for the conclusive resolution of the welfare concerns raised by the union, stating that the current strike is a result of the administration’s indifference to the legitimate entitlements of academic staff at the university.