The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) declared that it wants the Federal Government to pay payment arrears for the four months that its members were on strike.
Mr. Peters Adeyemi, General Secretary of NASU, declared as much during a news conference held in Abuja on Wednesday during a meeting of the union’s National Executive Council (NEC).
The NEC, according to Adeyemi, expects the federal government to make preparations for the payment of wage arrears.
According to NASU, now that all parties within the University system have ended their industrial strikes, it is time for the government to reevaluate its stern stance during the lockdown of tertiary institutions.
The moratorium given to the federal government will expire in November 2022.
“This is a perfect chance for the administration to sit down and begin addressing the current union problems, including salary arrears,” he said.
Adeyemi also emphasized that the government will not push the issue under the rug, especially after the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) ended their two-month strike and the government made a similar gesture.
He went on to say, “As a union member, I am convinced that those payments will be made, as they were made to the health sector workers for two months.”
“The Minister of Labor and Employment also arranged the payment, and he remains in office; I am confident he will facilitate this payment as well,” he remarked.
Earlier, Dr. Hassan Makolo, the National President of NASU, remarked that unionists do not arbitrarily decide to go on strike.
He continued by stating that, contrary to common belief, labor organizations do not go on strike to play to the crowd.
According to him, this is due to the high costs incurred by their members and unions.
“Those who believe that going on strike is easy should try going four, five, or more months without a salary or money.
“Consider the effects on the household of a breadwinner participating in an unpaid strike, in terms of food, medical care, transportation, school tuition for children, elderly parents, other relatives, and the landlord.
Moreover, the vast majority of students at public universities and other intellectual institutions are our descendants.
“In contrast, the children of our bosses and other government officials who are supposed to handle union issues in the public sector attend foreign colleges or private universities in the United States,” he said.
Moreover, he noted that the union continues to operate, including during the strike, without check-off dues.
According to him, public officials’ acts and inactions required an unnecessary strike by NASU members in universities and interuniversity centers.
Therefore, he argued that the strike would never have happened if they had met expectations.
Hassan added that only by institutionalizing collective bargaining in the educational and affiliated institutions sectors could the age of strikes be effectively reduced.
He stated that this was one of their demands that was rejected by the Renegotiating Team of the Federal Government.
He continued by stating that government teams should always negotiate with integrity, including the implementation of agreements freely established with NASU.
“The four-month strike was suspended more than two months after the Federal Government struck an agreement with the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of NASU and SSANU.
“We’ve seen that the anticipated methods for implementing the Agreement’s provisions have not yet been implemented.
“We take advantage of the current NEC conference to request a meeting with Malam Adamu Adamu, Minister of Education.
“He must expedite the implementation of the Agreement, or else NASU members will launch another round of protests,” he warned.
In addition, he noted that we hope additional industrial relations issues in the industry that the government is aware of may be resolved peacefully within a fair amount of time.
According to the Nigerian News Agency (NAN), SANNU and NASU ended their strike on August 20.
In March, the unions started a countrywide strike because they regarded the administration to be indifferent to their demands. (NAN)