The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) stated that it expects the Federal Government to pay salary arrears for the four months of their strike.
Mr Peters Adeyemi, General Secretary of NASU, stated this during a news conference on Wednesday at the union’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja.
According to Adeyemi, the NEC expects the federal government to make provisions for the settlement of salary arrears.
According to NASU, now that all parties within the University system have ceased their industrial strikes, it is time for the government to reconsider its tough attitude taken while the tertiary institutions were under lock and key.
“The federal government has been granted a moratorium, which will expire in November 2022.”
“This should be a golden opportunity for the government to sit down and begin to address the existing union concerns, one of which is salary arrears,” he said.
Adeyemi also stated that the government would not sweep the problem under the rug, especially because the government made a similar gesture after the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) terminated their two-month strike.
He further stated, “As a union member, I am confident that those payments will be paid because they were paid to the guys in the health sector for two months.”
“The Minister of Labour and Employment facilitated the payment as well, and he is still there; I am convinced he will enable this payment,” he stated.
Earlier, Dr. Hassan Makolo, National President of NASU, stated that unionists do not take the decision to go on strike carelessly.
He went on to say that, contrary to popular assumption, labour unions do not go on strike only to play to the gallery.
According to him, this is because it is done at great cost to their members and the unions.
“Those who believe going on strike is simple should consider going four, five, or more months without a salary or income.
“Consider the impact on the home of a breadwinner participating in a strike without pay, in terms of food, medical care, transportation, children’s school fees, elderly parents, other relatives, and the landlord.
Furthermore, the majority of students at public universities and other academic institutions are our offspring.
“In contrast, the children of our bosses and other government officials who are expected to handle the problems of unions in the public sector are either attending institutions abroad or private universities in the United States,” he remarked.
In addition, he mentioned that the union continues to run its operations, including the strike without check-off dues.
According to him, the actions and inactions of public officials necessitated an unnecessary strike by NASU members in universities and interuniversity centres.
Therefore, he stated that the strike would not have begun in the first place if they had performed as expected.
Hassan further stated that the era of strikes could only be adequately minimised by institutionalising collective bargaining in the educational and associated institutions sectors.
He noted that this was one of their demands that were rejected by the Federal Government’s Renegotiating Team.
He went on to say that government teams should always come to the collective bargaining table with integrity, including the implementation of agreements freely reached with NASU.
“More than two months after the Federal Government reached an agreement with the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of NASU and SSANU, the four-month strike was suspended.
“We have noted that the anticipated processes for implementing the content of the Agreement have not yet been implemented.
“We thus take advantage of the current NEC conference to request a meeting with the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu.
“He must ensure that the steps for implementing the Agreement begin quickly, or else NASU members will launch another round of protests,” he added.
In addition, he stated that we hope that other industrial relations difficulties in the sector that the government is aware of can be resolved amicably within a reasonable time frame.
The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that SANNU and NASU terminated their industrial action on August 20.
The unions initiated a statewide strike in March due to what they perceived to be the government’s indifference to their demands. (NAN)
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