SSANU, NASU Issue Fresh Directives To Members As Meeting With FG Ends In Deadlock

The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU, have directed all branches to convene a meeting on Monday to sensitive members for a one-day protest on Tuesday in all the branches, which will be followed by a national protest on July 18 in Abuja and thereafter, a full-blown strike.

Naija News reports that this comes after a meeting convened by the Federal Government through the Ministry of Education over the strike threat by the union ended in deadlock.

Recall that the two University-based unions, SSANU and NASU under the Joint Action Committee, JAC, had issued a two-week ultimatum to the government to pay them the four months withheld salaries which President Bola Tinubu had approved for the four University unions.

The four unions, including the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU and the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT had embarked on a prolonged strike in 2022, which resulted in the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari to invoke the ‘No Work, No Pay’ policy.

After President Tinubu had granted amnesty to the university workers for payment of four months of the withheld salaries, ASUU was paid in October last year, leaving behind the other three unions, a development that has generated bad blood and tension in the universities.

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The two weeks ultimatum expired on July 4 but the federal government through the Minister of Education, Professor Tahir Mamman, summoned a meeting with the two unions to avert the strike.

According to Vanguard, the meeting did not achieve anything as the Minister only promised to take their matter to a higher authority, perhaps President Tinubu.

Angered by the development, the General Secretary of NASU, Prince Peters Adeyemi and President of SSANU, Comrade Mohammed Ibrahim, JAC, in a circular to all branch chairmen of University and University centres on the outcome of their meeting with the Ministers of Education Labour and Employment, said the government had not shown any convincing commitment on the payment of the four months withheld salaries.

The circular tilted: “Outcome of the meetings held with the Minister of Education and the Minister of Labour and Employment: Directive to all branches of NASU and SSANU,” advised the branches to participate fully in the scheduled protests.

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It read: “The National body of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of NASU and SSANU met on Thursday, 4th July, 2024 to appraise and take position on the current situation in respect of the withheld (4) four months’ salaries and other grievances of our members in University and Inter-University Centres.

“Similarly, the National JAC on invitation met with the Honourable Minister of Education; Honourable Minister of State for Education; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education; other top officials of the Ministry and National Universities Commission (NUC).

“Unfortunately, the engagement with the Minister of Education has not shown any convincing commitment on the payment of the withheld salaries and resolutions of other pending grievances of JAC of the two unions.

“It is also disheartening that the JAC was also at the Federal Ministry of Labour & Employment and as usual, the Honourable Minister of State was not on seat to receive us, as we were informed that she had an urgent call from the villa.

“The Permanent Secretary who stood in for her could not make any commitment on the issues raised.

“In view of this disappointment and failure of Government to address grievances of NASU and SSANU, JAC has decided on a series of Industrial actions which include the following;

“All branches of NASU and SSANU should mandatorily hold a general meeting on Monday, 8th July, 2024 to sensitize members on the insensitivity of Government to our plights.

“A ONE DAY protest should hold on Tuesday, 9th July,2024 at each branch simultaneously. Every branch should ensure that all members fully participate in the protest and the Press/ media is adequately mobilized.

“A NATIONAL PROTEST which will hold in Abuja on Thursday, 18th July, 2024 after which JAC will meet to announce a date when the strike action will commence. “Further information will be communicated appropriately.”

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