The National Executive Council of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (#ASUU NEC) has began another indefinite strike today Monday being 7th November 2022 following half salary paid for the Month of October 2022.
The meeting held at the union’s headquarters – the University of Abuja on Monday today directed the Union members to embark on an indefinite Strike since is the only language Government can understand.
The Union said through their Leaders that it was not in their best interest to embark on another strike but the union deemed it necessary since the Government refused to honour their earlier agreement to pay all the outstanding salaries to the Union.
Already, some branches of the Union across the country have held a congress to decide on the next steps to take before this development from the National Union of the body.
For example, the branch at the University of Jos, resolved that the lecturers stay home pending the payment of withheld salaries by the government; the branch at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University resolved that the 2021-2022 academic session be abolished, and the Gombe State University ASUU resolved that the examination results of students be seized.
A member of the NEC who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “Officially, the national body did not tell branches to hold congress, but many of them started calling meetings following the receipt of the amputated salary by the government”.
Meanwhile, a human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), who is the lead counsel to #ASUU, in a statement on Sunday, explained why the ‘no work, no pay’ policy could not be applicable to #ASUU.
In parts, Falana said, “According to the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the lecturers were paid in pro rata to the number of days that they worked in October, counting from the day that they suspended their industrial action.
“The position of the Federal Government is factually faulty and legally misleading. Since the industrial action was called off, the public universities have adjusted their calendars to ensure that the 2021–2022 academic session is not cancelled.
Consequently, students are currently taking lectures or writing examinations that were disrupted during the strike of the #ASUU.
Therefore, having regard to the facts and circumstances of the #ASUU strike, the doctrine of “no work, no pay” is totally inapplicable, as students who were not taught during the strike are currently attending lectures and writing examinations.
“Furthermore, it is public knowledge that the members of the Nigerian Association of Resident Doctors embarked on a strike that lasted two months last year.
The Federal Government dragged the striking doctors to the National Industrial Court, which ordered the NARD to call off the strike”.
As soon as the strike was called off, President Muhammadu Buhari jettisoned the “no work, no pay” principle and ordered the payment of the salaries for the two months that the strike lasted.
On that occasion, the President overruled Dr Chris Ngige in the interest of industrial harmony in the health sector.
“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.”
Perhaps, whether Falana’s postulation would be honoured or not, OurWorldGist is monitoring the situation closely to update you.