FG moves to avert SSANU,NASU strike over unpaid salary arrears

SSANU and nasu

A meeting has been scheduled by the federal government with the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) for Thursday, July 4th, at the Office of the Minister of Education.

The imminent meeting is a response to the termination of a two-week ultimatum pronounced by the leadership of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of SSANU and NASU to the government, demanding the disbursement of their accumulated salaries spanning four months, failing which could result in the closure of educational institutions.

The implementation of the ‘No work, no pay’ principle was initiated by former Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, during the extended strike of 2022 by the four university-based unions.

The salaries of members affiliated with the university-based unions who partook in the strike were deliberately withheld during the tenure of former President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration.

Nonetheless, in October of the previous year, President Bola Tinubu granted clemency to the university staff and instructed that the outstanding salaries spanning four months be remitted to them.

Prof. Tahir Mamman, the Minister of Education, reiterated that the payment is intended for all university employees who engaged in the strike.

While the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has received their four-month pending salaries in compliance with President Tinubu’s directive, the other three unions comprising NASU, SSANU, and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) are still awaiting their remuneration.

This circumstance has instigated unrest within the university framework, with administrative personnel considering a work stoppage commencing tomorrow.

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An official representing one of the unions disclosed that the government has arranged a meeting with SSANU and NASU at 1 pm on Thursday to tackle the contentious matters.

The union leader, who doesn’t want to be quoted because he was not authorised to speak to the press, said: “The Minister of Education has called to meet with SSANU and NASU tomorrow (today) maybe to persuade us not to go on strike. We will honour the invitation. We are also going to meet with the Minister of State for Labour and Employment by 3 pm tomorrow (today).”

It was also gathered that the JAC of SSANU and NASU has scheduled to meet by 10 am on Thursday before going for the meeting with the education minister.

Recall that the JAC had planned to meet on July 4, after the expiration of the two-week ultimatum to review the response of the government to their demands and declare an indefinite strike if the government refused to pay the withheld salaries.

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