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ASUU-ABSU denies receiving April, May 2024 salaries

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Abia State University, ABSU Uturu chapter has said its members have not been paid their April and May 2024 salaries.

The state government had announced that it paid the lecturers.

Senior Special Assistant on Public Communication, Mr. Dodoh Okafor stated that funds have been made available for the payment of outstanding salaries and attributed any delay to technical difficulties due to the migration of the institution to the TSA framework, noting that some workers have started receiving their salaries for the months of April and May.

However, in a statement signed by the Chairperson and Secretary, ASUU-ABSU Dr. Chidi S. Mbah and Dr. Victor U Obisike, respectively, the union disclosed that only a handful of staff with salary accounts at commercial banks have received their April salary while fewer members have received their May salary.

It also urged government officials to refrain from politicizing the issue of salary payments at ABSU, as people’s health, family needs and critical issues such as workers’ productivity are at stake.

The Union also lamented that some staff who received their May salary did not receive their April salary, despite using the same bank.

It also stated that many of the staff who received either their April or May salary experienced unexplained deductions ranging from N8,000 to N53,000 from their salaries at the source.

The Union further decried that the majority of staff whose salary accounts are domiciled with the ABSU Microfinance Bank, along with the teaching staff of Abia State University Teaching Hospital,ABSUTH, have not received any payments for either April or May, stressing that the situation has caused significant financial strain, panic, and uncertainty among the staff.

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The Union said; “Following the recent statement from the government of Abia State that all Abia State University (ABSU) staff has received their April and May salaries; we, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, ABSU Chapter, wish to clarify and state the actual situation regarding salary payments at the University.

“Contrary to the government’s announcement and news circulating on social media, the reality is starkly different. Only a handful of staff with salary accounts at commercial banks have received their April salary, and even fewer have received their May salary. Alarmingly, there are instances where some staff who received their May salary did not receive their April salary, despite using the same bank.

“Moreover, many of the staff who received either their April or May salary experienced unexplained deductions ranging from eight thousand (8,000) to fifty-three thousand (53,000) Naira from their salary at the source.

“Additionally, the majority of staff whose salary accounts are domiciled with the ABSU Microfinance Bank, along with the teaching staff of Abia State University Teaching Hospital, have not received any payments for either April or May. This situation has caused significant financial strain, panic, and uncertainty among the staff.

“Due to this staggered payment system, the unions within the University cannot ascertain the status of their check-off dues, which are typically deducted at the source of payment.

“Furthermore, it is important to highlight that our eleven months of outstanding salary arrears remain unpaid. Despite repeated assurances, not a single month of these arrears has been settled.

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“We urge government officials to refrain from politicizing the issue of salary payments at ABSU, as people’s health, family needs, and critical issues such as workers’ productivity are at stake.

“It is imperative that the government acknowledges the financial hardships faced by university staff and takes immediate action to ensure that all outstanding salaries, including the arrears, are paid promptly and in full.

“We seek transparency and accountability from the government in handling this matter and hope for a swift resolution to alleviate the financial distress faced by the staff of ABSU.

“The Union supports the Governor, His Excellency, Dr Alex Chioma Oti, in his quest to reposition the University and we appeal to him as our dear Visitor, who means well for the only state-owned university and has left a standing instruction to pay all state government workers no later than the 28th of every month, to quickly address this issue by calling the attention of the concerned officials, so as not to truncate his good intentions for the state workforce.

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