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Why Nigerian Unity Schools are still shut

As the ongoing strike in the Federal Ministry of Education and 104 Federal Government Colleges, FGCs, otherwise known as Unity Schools, across the country enters its third week, Association of Senior Civil Servants of Nigeria, ASCSN, said yesterday, there was no going back until all demands were met.

The union is protesting among others, unpaid salary arrears, and other benefits for members.

A statement by the Secretary General of ASCSN, Mr. Alade Bashir Lawal, enjoined members at the headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Education, the Inspectorate Offices, and the 104 Federal Unity Colleges to remain firm and obey the strike order until directed otherwise by the union.

It noted that the tripartite Task Force set up by Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity in respect of the strike had recorded some positive results.

The union said “we can confirm that N527,643,440.00 (Five hundred and twenty-seven million, six hundred and forty-three thousand, four hundred and forty-four naira) has been released by the Budget Office to the CBN for onward transmission to the Federal Ministry of Education to start the payment of the first batch of promotion arrears.

We are hopeful that the money will start entering the personal accounts of the Union at the Headquarters of the Ministry, the Inspectorate Offices, and the 104 Federal Unity Colleges beginning from Friday.”

The union said at a meeting held at the Federal Ministry of Labour and Productivity on October 4 2014, with the Federal Ministry of Education in attendance, it was agreed that the tripartite Task Force should continue to work to ensure that the outstanding N1.7 billion (which covers all other arrears of promotion and other allowances) with the Budget Office was released.

Other conclusions reached at the meeting include the fact that both parties to the dispute should get the necessary mandate from their principals so that when the tripartite meeting reconvened on 15th October 15, the strike would be reviewed.

The union scribe commended the heroic actions of members of the Union at the Headquarters of the Federal Ministry of Education, the Inspectorate Offices, and the 104 Federal Unity Colleges for standing firm while   carrying out the strike directive.

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