BREAKING... Industrial Unrest Looms In UNICROSS Over Non-Payment of 3 Months Arrears of Salaries

Jan 7, 2024 - 17:31
 0  445
BREAKING...  Industrial Unrest Looms In UNICROSS Over Non-Payment of 3 Months Arrears of Salaries

By Ndifreke BASSEY

There are strong indications that staff of the University of Cross River State (UNICROSS) may declare an industrial dispute any moment from Tuesday to press home their demands for payment of their outstanding three months' salary arrears and other welfare packages, THE BEAGLE NEWS can authoritatively reveal.

The staff are piqued that the Vice Chancellor, Professor Augustine Angba, has once again, reneged on his earlier promise of at least paying December salary before the end of 2023 but rather opted to travel to the UK to holiday during the Yuletide thereby depleting the income base of the institution. 

Findings by The Beagle News indicated that UNICROSS staff were owed for four months including April, May 2022 November, and December 2023. But the November 2023 salary was paid in late December leaving the workers with a backlog of three months' salaries.

Meanwhile, it was gathered that the delay in payment of December salary was allegedly a result of Governor Bassey Otu's refusal to release the December subvention to the UNICROSS authorities due to the blatant refusal of the management to address an audit query demanding the submission of the internal revenue profile of the school under the administration of Prof Angba.

The Government is piqued at the inability of the UNICROSS management to submit the necessary documents demanded by the government to ascertain the true position of things at the state's institution especially regarding its internally generated revenue. 

It was learned that the government had sent in a panel to look into the books of UNICROSS and the government is not palatable with their findings, leading to a subtle call for the auditing of the institution's accounts.

In light of the above, ASUU UNICROSS is said to have concluded arrangements to hold a Congress on Monday, January 8 to decide on the next line of action regarding their welfare and the state of the institution. 

A reliable source close to ASUU leadership said the Congress would endorse the last option of declaring an industrial action in protest against the treatment meted out to their members.

The strike, the source revealed, may take off on Tuesday while other Non-Academic staff are expected to follow suit.

As at the time of filling this report, THE BEAGLE NEWS has it on good authority that the Vice Chancellor, Prof Angba, has returned from his last series of overseas trips a few days back. 

The VC was said to have jetted out of the country a few days to Christmas even as the government had repeatedly warned him against unnecessary overseas trips that do not bring in any foreign investment to the school or state either.

Several calls put across to the VC's Whatsapp line rang all through without response neither did he return the call.