There were indications yesterday that the Federal Government may have enacted a “no work, no pay” policy for the striking university-based unions.
Despite all of the warnings and letters given to the federal government regarding the ongoing strike in public institutions, the administration has not thought it suitable to recognize the letters or summon them to round table negotiations, according to the unions.
Recall that the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, went on a four-week warning strike on February 14, which was extended when it expired due to the government’s apparent unwillingness to resolve the disputed issues that prompted the strike.
In March, the Joint Action Committee, JAC, comprising the Non-Academic Staff Union of Allied and Educational Institution, NASU, and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU declared a two week warning strike, within the same month and it was also extended, while the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, declared its own two weeks warning strike the same month.
Confirming that the Federal Government has invoked the ‘no work, no pay’ policy against the striking unions, the President of NAAT, Comrade Ibeji Nwokoma, said members of his union were not paid full salaries in March.
He also said the government has ignored all the notices for the ongoing strike and had refused to acknowledge all the letters sent in that regard.
The NAAT President also told Vanguard that instead of inviting the striking university workers for a dialogue over the contentious issues, the government had gone ahead to implement the ‘no work, no salary ‘ policy.
He, however, said that seizing the salary of the union members would not make them call off the strike as the action was in the interest of the system.
Asked to give the update on the union’s strike, Comrade Nwokoma said: “As of today, we have entered the the fifth week of our warning strike, the first two weeks and then we rolled over for four weeks. Unfortunately, as we are talking, government has not acknowledged all the notices of strike, all the letters we wrote to them as at today.
“Government has not also invited us or found it necessary to invite us to a round table discussion, so as to find a way forward. And unfortunately too, government has decided to stop our salaries, using the no work, no pay principle.”