Adeyemi warned the government not to sweep the issue under the carpet, especially when the government obliged the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) similar gesture after they suspended their two months strike.”
By Saidu Idris
365Daily – The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) has asked the Federal Government to pay salary arrears for the four months their industrial action lasted.
The association said since all parties within the university system have suspended their industrial actions, it is expedient on the government to start reviewing those hard stance it took while the tertiary institutions were under lock and key.
This poaition was conveyed by the General Secretary of NASU, Mr Peters Adeyemi, said this while addressing a news conference at the union’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on Wednesday in Abuja.
Adeyemi said that NEC expects the federal government to make arrangements for payment of the salary arrears.
He said: “A moratorium was given to the Federal Government which will elapse by November 2022.
“This should serve as a veritable opportunity for government to sit down and begin to address the existing demands by the unions, one of which is the salary arrears.’’
Adeyemi warned the government not to sweep the issue under the carpet, especially when the government obliged the National Association of Resident Doctors (NARD) similar gesture after they suspended their two months strike.
He expressed confidence that the outstanding salaries will be paid, saying: “The Minister of Labour and Employment also facilitated the payment and he is still there, I am confident he will facilitate this payment.”
Earlier, Dr Hassan Makolo, National President of NASU, sought to address what he said was an erroneous belief that unions embark on strike to play to the gallery, saying industrial actions come at great cost to their members and the unions.
He said: “Those who think it is easy to go on a strike should think of staying for four, five or more months without a salary or an income.
“Think of what that does to the household of a breadwinner who is taking part in a strike without a salary, in terms of feeding, medicals, transportation, children school fees, aged parents and other relations to cater for, as well as the landlord.
“Moreover, most of the children in public universities and other tertiary institutions are our children.
“Whereas the children of our employers and other government functionaries who are expected to resolve the grievances of unions in the public sector are either studying in universities abroad or are in private universities here at home,” he said.
He explained that the actions and inactions of public officials foisted a needless strike on members of NASU in the Universities and Inter-University Centres, adding that the strike would not have happened in the first plac if they did what was expected of them.
Hassan also said that the era of strikes would only be mitigated effectively if collective bargaining in the educational and allied institutions sectors are institutionalised.
He added that this was one of the demands they put before the Federal Government, which members of the Federal Government Renegotiating Team rejected.
“Over two months after the Agreement signed by the Federal Government with the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of NASU and SSANU, that resulted in the suspension of the four months old strike.
“We have observed that the processes expected to be put in place for the actualisation of the content of the Agreement are yet to be put in place.
“We therefore use the opportunity of the ongoing NEC meeting to call on the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu.
“He is to ensure that the processes for the implementation of the Agreement commence immediately before the members of NASU will start another round of agitation,’’ he said.
He also added that, we hope that some other industrial relations issues within the sector which the government is aware of will be amicably resolved within a minimum time frame.