THERE are indications that the academic activities across the universities would completely shut down today (3/10/2013) as the non-academic staff unions in Nigeria public universities will begin indefinite strike action to protest their two months unpaid salaries.
This comes at the end of a seven-day ultimatum issued last week Thursday by the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), at the end of its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in Ilorin, Kwara State.
The National President of the union, Ladi Illiya, said that the union would commence the strike today, October 3rd if government did not authorise the payment of its members who were not on strike but have seen their salaries withheld without any explanation from government.
She argued that the union would not be breaching any law in not informing government of its decision to proceed on strike action.
Illiya submitted that the union was not on strike and for its members to suffer alongside members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) which was currently on strike, could not be justified under any excuse.
NASU Ends feud with NLCThe union also said that it was resuming its active participation in the activities of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC), which it suspended at the end of the national delegates’ conference of the NLC February 2011.
Mrs. Illiya said: “NEC-in-session expressed serious worry over the non-release of funds for the payment of salaries for the months of August and September, 2013 to NASU members in Nigerian universities despite the fact that its members are not on strike. The NEC felt betrayed by the silence, which has caused uneasy calm on campuses. NEC therefore gives the federal government seven days with effect from today (yesterday), 25th September, 2013 within which to release and order the payment of the salaries failing which NASU members in the universities shall proceed on indefinite strike action with effect from Thursday, 3rd October, 2013.”
NASU also called on the government of Rivers State not to contemplate reviewing the state tertiary institutions’ workers’ salaries downward by 50% as being proposed.
The NEC of NASU also directed the union to resume participation in all the activities of the Nigeria Labour Congress, which includes the resumption of payment of affiliation dues to the Congress.
The union, which restated its opposition to the planned autonomy to local governments, said that its decision was not borne out of political consideration but the protection of its members who might not get their salaries under an autonomy local council authority.
She said: “The decision not to support autonomy to the local councils is borne out of our desire to ensure prompt payment of our members’ salaries and other emoluments. Local government authorities were once autonomous in this country and we know what it was like then.
“Indeed our members were owed salaries for months before this new dispensation. We are not at war with any other union that is pushing for local council autonomy. Our position is borne out of our desire to ensure that our members are not subjected to agony. We are not politicians and the protection of our members’ interest is our primary concern.”
Speaking on the union’s decision to resume active participation in the activities of the NLC, NASU General Secretary, Peters Adeyemi, said that the union was going back to the NLC without condition.
His words: “The NEC of NASU has directed the union go back to the NLC without any condition. By this directive, we will now resume fulfillment of all our obligations to the central labour body. We are convinced that our returning to the NLC will contribute to the overall efforts aimed at reviving the once vibrant NLC.
Source: The Guardian
Related: Why FG wants ASUU strike to continue