The leaders of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) have said its members are not beggars and the stoppage of their salaries by the government won’t force them to call off their strike.
The academic union has been on strike since February 14, following the failure of the Federal government to meet their demands. After the expiration of the one-month warning strike they embarked on in February, the union announced another eight-week strike before it eventually commenced its indefinite strike.
The continued strike led to the imposition of No-Work-No-Pay by the Federal Government. The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, said the directive complied with Section 43 of the Labour Law.
In a statement released on Friday, June 17, the ASUU President, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, commended members of the union for not backing down from the strike despite the no work, no pay policy by the Federal government.
“As the struggle continues, our members are commended for their commitment and steadfastness in the patriotic struggle for the survival of the university system in our country.
“Our members are particularly applauded for keeping faith with the union despite the hardship imposed on our families as a result of the stoppage of salaries. They have made the statement loud and clear that we are not beggars and, as a result, hunger is an impotent instrument to break our resolve.
“Our cast-iron resolve has forced the government to sit down and negotiate with us. We have had five meetings with the Federal Government team and two meetings with the Minister of Education. The renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement is progressing smoothly and has reached an advanced stage.
“However, we must remain focused to the end of this struggle. UTAS (University Transparency and Accountability Solution) has been tested for the third time. So far, NITDA (National Information Technology Development Agency) has tested UTAS and UPS and will start testing IPPIS next week. We are undeterred by the antics of some government officials in this respect.
“We are on the threshold of victory. Let us keep faith with the union. A people united can never be defeated.”