By Usman Shuaibu
The staff of the Nigerian Educational Research and Development Council (NERDC) has commenced the strike to press for the remaining balance of their arrears for six months from the Federal Government.
The chairman of the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) of the NERDC branch, comrade Olufemi Alabi, who disclosed this while speaking to People’s Daily at the Headquarters of the NERDC Sheda in Kwali Area Council, FCT, Abuja.
“In 2010 there was an increment in salary of 53.33% and 18 months arrears. The government of the day by then spoke with the leadership of the union to pay 18 months arrears in batches. So, since 2011 the government has refused to pay the arrears”, Alabi explained.
He charged the Federal Government to expedite action on the payment of 53.33% of the staff salary in order to boost their morale at work.
He further called on the government of the day to provide enough funds for the research sector as being promised, noting that research was a bedrock of development in any country.
According to him, there is no country in the world that made a reasonable improvement or development without research.
He said the union was embarking on the strike as the government of the day had failed to establish a Research Commission that would regulate the activities of the research institutes and councils.
The NASU chairman pleaded with the government to fulfill the promises made to the Union in all aspects of their demands, while urging President Muhammadu Buhari to look into their problems
Alabi, however, called on the workers to support the union for the struggle.
Also speaking, the chairman of the Senior Staff Association of Teaching Hospital and Research Institution and Allied (SSATHRIA), comrade Justin Nwokedi, said the union would not call-off the strike until the government made their needs.