Striking workers of Plateau State-owned tertiary institutions have faulted the composition of the committee set up by the state government to look into the grievances of the workers. According to them, “based on our previous experiences with Mr. John Daduut, the Chairman of the committee, we do not have confidence in him because he has been part of the problem of the lingering issues.”
A press statement by the Chairman of the Joint Unions of Plateau State Owned Tertiary Institutions, Comrade Victor Dawurung, said the workers also expressed disappointment “with the one month period given the committee for the submission of the report”, adding that given the urgency of the situation, government should have made better effort within the shortest possible time.
They also noted the lopsidedness of the committee which is made up of only government appointees without involving other stakeholders, adding that such committee without representation from other stakeholders will only do government bidding.
The workers of the tertiary institutions in the state have been on strike over three months salaries owed them by the state government among other demands. But the state government recently constituted a nine-man state executive committee, thereby abandoning an earlier Collective Bargaining Committee, which the same state government constituted.
The workers said they had gone far in negotiation with the earlier committee, and wondered why government suddenly dumped it to set up a new one, stressing that was just a deliberate ploy to delay resolution of the issues and toy with the fate of thousands of students in the institutions.
According to the statement, “for the same EXCO members committee to be mandated to handle other issues of other unions with issues not related to those of the workers underscores that fact that government wants to deliberately delay the resolution of the face-off with workers.”