The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), have said an indefinite and total strike in universities and inter-university centres in the country has become inevitable.
The unions are presently on another round of a twoweek warning strike, which is currently on its 10th day, after the first two weeks warning strike it embarked upon in March elapsed. Saddened by what was described as “aloof and contemptuous attitude” of the President Muhammadu Buhari-led administration towards issues relating to the non-academic unions, they noted it was unbelievable a government could not live up to its honour by implementing freely entered agreements.
JAC spokesperson, Comrade Peters Adeyemi, who addressed newsmen yesterday in Abuja, said the unions have no choice but to take the sorry path which it had tried to avoid, adding that the government has continued to remain insensitive and nonresponsive to their issues. According to him, besides the many agitations under convention, the non-academic workers are demanding and insist as a precondition to end its ongoing warning strike, payment of the N30 billion earned allowances originally agreed by government to pay their members He said: “The aloof and contemptuous attitude of government further incensed our members who resolved that following the failure of government to even invite the leaderships for a meeting, the strike should be extended by another two weeks before an indefinite and total strike is declared.
“As of today, the two-week extension is getting to the middle and with no response in sight from the government, we may be left with no resort, but to embark on an indefinite and total strike. This is gradually becoming unavoidable and inevitable.
“It is pertinent to note that the issues that led to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of October 2020 and the Memorandum of Action (MoA) of February 2021 are the same issues that have led to this strike action of March, 2022. It needs to be said that these same issues had led to previous Collective Bargaining Agreements with the government in 2017 and 2018, before the agreements reached in 2020 and 2021.” “Going by this, therefore, it is easy to conclude that the recurringcauseof industrial unrests in our universities and inter-university centres, especially between the JAC of NASU and SSANU and theFederalGovernment, has been the total disrespect and contemptuous disregard for Collective Bargaining Agreements by the government.” Meanwhile, President of the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC), Comrade Ayuba Wabba, has urged the Federal Government to immediately set up a high powered panel constituted of members with requisite mandates to resolve within 21 days, the issues militating against industrial harmony in Nigeria’s university system.