4 months withheld salaries: FG moves to stop varsity strike

The Federal Government would meet with the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) today at the Minister of Education’s office.

This meeting followed the deadline set by the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of SSANU and NASU, demanding the release of their four months’ withheld salaries or they will proceed with the shutdown of universities.

The Federal Government, through the Ministry of Labour and Employment, implemented the ‘No work, no pay’ policy during a lengthy strike by four university-based unions in 2022. However, President Bola Tinubu granted amnesty to the university workers in October last year and instructed the payment of the withheld salaries for four months. Additionally, Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman, confirmed that the payment was for all university workers involved in the strike.

Although the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has received their four months’ withheld salaries as per President Tinubu’s directive, the other three unions, including the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), are still awaiting payment.

This delay has caused tension and threats of industrial action. In a bid to prevent a strike, the government has scheduled a meeting with SSANU and NASU at 1 pm on Thursday to discuss and resolve the issues at hand.

A source privy to the meeting said, “The Minister of Education has called to meet with SSANU and NASU tomorrow (today) to persuade us not to go on strike. We will honor the invitation. We are also going to meet with the Minister of State for Labour and Employment by 3 pm tomorrow (today).”

Further information indicates that the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of SSANU and NASU is set to convene at 10 am on Thursday before the scheduled meeting. Previously, the JAC had intended to meet on July 4 to assess the government’s response to their demands following the ultimatum, with plans to declare an indefinite strike if the withheld salaries were not paid.


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