Academic staff members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) at Imo State University (IMSU) in Owerri have staged a protest against what they describe as the management’s insensitivity to their welfare. The staff members lamented challenges such as promotions without financial benefits, selective salary payments, non-payment of salary arrears, non-payment of earned academic allowances, and non-remittance of union check-off/welfare dues.

ASUU-IMSU embarks on protest, demands payment of salary arrears, allowances

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They also raised concerns about the non-remittance of pension deductions, non-payment of annual salary increments, non-implementation of wage increases, and IMSU’s inclusion in the Treasury Single Account (TSA) system. According to the union, some members are owed between eight and twelve months’ salary arrears.

In a statement jointly signed by the Chairperson, Dr. Odinakachukwu Ejiogu, and Secretary, Comrade Lazarus Chikwendu, the union emphasized the urgent need for the intervention of the Governor of Imo State, who is also the Visitor to the university. They highlighted the issue of “promotion without financial benefits,” which has persisted since 2016, leaving many academic staff members in financial limbo. Accumulated promotion arrears from 1999 to 2021 stand at over N495 million, with recent promotions still unresolved.

The union also criticized the selective payment of salaries and the non-payment of salary arrears. Following a reorganization of salary payments in 2020, many staff members experienced unexplained deductions or skipped payments. Despite attempts to resolve these anomalies, 92 academic staff members still face issues with unpaid salaries ranging from one to 27 months.

Another significant issue is the non-payment of earned academic allowances, which recognize additional efforts and contributions by academic staff. The allowances, stemming from the FGN-ASUU Agreement of 2009, amount to over N7 billion for periods up to 2020, but no payments have been made.

Furthermore, the union highlighted the non-remittance of union check-off dues, amounting to over N33 million, from February 2020 to September 2021. They also noted the cessation of annual salary increments since 2020 and the non-implementation of wage increases approved by the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission.

The inclusion of IMSU in the Treasury Single Account (TSA) system was also criticized for undermining the university’s autonomy and complicating its financial administration. The union called on the governor to address these challenges urgently, as they have created a demoralizing environment for staff and severely affected their productivity.