Aug. 20 (THEWILL) — Non-teaching staff at Nigerian universities, the Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Allied and Education Institutions (NASU), have suspended their strike for a period of two months .
The suspension follows a brief meeting with Education Minister Adamu Adamu in Abuja on Saturday.
Adamu said the federal government has pledged to pay 50 billion naira to pay earned compensation to members of SSANU, NASU and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
SSANU National President, Muhammed Ibrahim, who confirmed the development, said: “Yes, we have suspended the strike for a period of two months.
As the suspension takes effect from Wednesday, activities at public universities will, however, remain limited as university professors remain on strike.
The federal government insisted on Thursday that there will be no salary payments for university professors for periods when they have not worked.
Adamu said the measure was intended to deter others who might consider a similar strike in the future.
But ASUU on Friday insisted on paying back wages, saying that without the move, unfinished academic sessions should be forgotten.
Union president Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, who publicized the professors’ position, said that although public universities have been closed since February, professors should be paid, as they have to teach to make up for lost time during the shutdown. .
“Let me tell you the difference between ASUU and other unions. When other unions go on strike and come back, all those times you’re on strike, you don’t have to backlog.
“But for ASUU, when we come back today, we will start from the 2020/2021 session. For these two groups of students who have been admitted by JAMB, we have to teach them during these periods to ensure that we encounter the system.
“So we’re going to do the backlog of work that we left behind. We’re not going to start today and say ‘This session is 2022/2023, therefore, all these two groups of people who have been admitted by JAMB are cancelled. We have to take another admission for the 2023/2024 session,” he said.
According to him, if the government maintains its position on the non-payment of salary arrears, the union members are not obliged to make up for lost school time.
“If we agree on that, therefore, the courses that we should have given to students for the 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 sessions, they should be allowed to leave, so we are starting a new 2022/2023 session in September, which is when a new session should start.
“Therefore, by July next year, I would be going on furlough as we did then so that the backlog would be cleared. All remaining conferences; all two rounds of admissions that JAMB has given and waiting should become irrelevant.
He said the ASUU doesn’t need a party of self-pity over the government’s withholding of lecturers’ salaries, saying the union “can take care” of its members.
Since February 14, 2022, university professors have been on strike to protest, among other things, the failure of the federal government to implement the memorandum of understanding it signed with ASUU, the lack of commitment to Earned Academic Allowance (EAA) payment and continued use of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System as well as the refusal to adopt the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).