The National Executive Council of the Academic Staff Union of Universities is set to meet today following the half payment of salaries by the federal government for the month of October.
The purpose of the meeting, set to take place at the union’s national headquarters in the University of Abuja is to discuss whether or not to resume strike following the half payment.
Some branches of the union have already held congresses to take decisions.
Members of the University of Jos branch, for instance, have resolved to stay at home pending the repayment of the full withheld salaries while the branch at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University decided to abolish the 2021-2022 academic session. The branch at the Gombe State University resolved to seize the examination results of students.
Human Rights activist and ASUU’s lead counsel, Femi Falana in a statement released to ThePUNCH yesterday explained that the Federal Government’s ‘no work, no pay’ policy can not be applicable to the lecturers.
Citing the example of the two-month strike action embarked upon by the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) last year, Falana explained that President Muhammadu Buhari, in interest of industrial harmony in the health sector overruled the minister of labour, Dr. Chris Ngige and ordered that the salaries of the doctors be paid as soon as they called off the strike.
Falana said, “In view of the foregoing, since the Federal Government is mandatorily required to treat all workers equally, the members of ASUU are entitled to be treated like members of the NARD after they had called off their strike. In other words, as members of ASUU and NARD are entitled to equality of rights, obligations, and opportunities before the law, the lecturers should be paid their salaries withheld during the period of the recently suspended 8-month industrial action.”
The chairman of the UNILAG branch, Dr. Dele Ashiru also said that the Southwest zone is awaiting the decision of the NEC concerning the half payment to decide whether they would embark on the strike or not.
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