The Academic Staff Union of the University of the University of Nigeria, Nsukka Chapter, on Tuesday protested the federal government’s payment of their salaries for the month of October and non-payment of salaries for eight months.
ASUU-UNN Chairman, Dr. The position of the union was conveyed by Christian Opata.
The union directed the teachers to withhold the exam results and not attend any department, faculty or senate council meetings to approve the results until the government does the needful.
Speaking to newsmen in Nsukka shortly after the protest, Opatha said the aim of the congress was to get members’ views on issues related to the union.
Oppeta said the rally was to inform the university community about the government’s inability to pay the ASUU backlog of eight months of salaries when the union called off the strike in October and to protest the payment of half salaries to members when the union called off the strike in October.
He said: “ASUU-UNN has instructed its members not to release the results of the examinations conducted and not to attend any department, faculty or senate council meeting.
“We will continue to teach but will not release the result of any exam or allow the school senate to approve any result.
“ASUU says no to the government policy of no work, no pay, but if the government insists on the policy, ASUU will not handle any academic activity that comes within those eight months.
“ASUU wants the government to honor the agreement with the union from 2009 and stop the continued effort to keep students out of school.”
The ASUU chairman termed the government’s attempt to treat lecturers as workers using a “pro-rata” format to pay salaries for the month of October as unfortunate.
Opata said: “This is the first time in the history of this country that university academic staff are paid as casual workers.
“An indication that the current administration in the country has no regard for education.”
Opata threatened that if the government failed to do the needful, ASUU was determined to engage in what is known in the history of Nigeria as the mother of all strikes.
He said: “If the government thinks that implementing the no-work-no-pay policy and withholding our salaries will stop us from striking again, it is a big lie.
“If the government fails to do the needful, ASUU will immediately revert to an indefinite nationwide strike in public universities.”
NAN reports that the peaceful protest started from the Faculty of Social Sciences to the Administrative Block and the main roads of UNN.
Some placards carried during the protest read: “We say no to government intimidation”; “Kill Education, Kill the Nation”; “Our government is not honoring the contract”; And don’t pay academic results, say no to pro-rata”; “give us our salary arrears, stop using pro-rata to pay us, lecturers are not ordinary workers”; “enough is enough, the mother of all strikes is loading.”