The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, is “unshaken” by the federal government’s recent ‘No Work No Pay’ policy on the striking lecturers, PREMIUM TIMES has learnt.
The federal government’s decision to stop paying the lecturers’ salaries was confirmed by the university lecturers after their Thursday meeting.
Rising from ASUU’s zonal conference in Abuja on Thursday, the union responded to the ‘No Work No Pay’ strategy by stating that it had resorted to other welfare strategies to cope with the effects of the policy.
“The Federal Government has through the National Universities Commission, directed universities to stop the payment of our salaries effective September this year and since then our salaries have not been paid,” Clement Chup, ASUU Zonal Chairman in Abuja, said.
“Part of (our) welfare strategy, involve distributing food items, giving out soft loans and cash advances to members,” he added.
The union is currently on an over three-month-old industrial action over the failure of the government to implement the 2009 agreement it reached with the lecturers.
Festus Iyayi, a former ASUU President, said that the union remains resolute in the face of the government’s latest strategy.
“I can confirm that the federal government has stopped payment of the salaries of academic staff,” Prof. Iyayi, who led ASUU in 1986, told PREMIUM TIMES.
“This ‘get them to capitulate by starving them’ policy has been employed by government in the past. It did not work. Our members are ready to make whatever sacrifices are needed to make government honour agreements,” he added.
The federal government’s latest move may have pulled the plug on negotiations between it and the striking lecturers.
The government toed a similar path during the 2009 ASUU strike but the lecturers stuck to their guns, with then ASUU President, Ukachukwu Awuzie, stating that “they would not allow the issue of salaries to dampen the desire of its members to seek fundamental changes in the Nigeria’s educational system.