The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) has said its strike action is still in full force, contrary to speculations that it intends to suspend it soon.
Peters Adeyemi, NASU’s General Secretary confirmed the position in a statement on Monday, in Abuja, noting that the union will be meeting on Tuesday, in the nation’s capital to consult with its members on the state of the strike.
He, however, hinted that the Federal Government has begun paying NASU members the arrears of the consequential adjustment of the national minimum wage, though not all members have received the payment so far.
According to Adeyemi, no other financial commitment made to the unions has been actionized except the consequential adjustment of the minimum wage, saying the payment is not enough for the striking workers to suspend the ongoing industrial action.
His words, “There are seven demands which we have gotten the commitment of the government to implement. There are six outstanding items yet to be acted upon. We cannot be because of the ongoing payment which is yet to be concluded to be talking about suspension of the strike. However, we are consulting with our members.
” A consultation meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday. But it is very naïve and mischievous for anyone to start saying we are planning to suspend the strike. I read in a section of the media that reported that we are planning to suspend the strike on Tuesday. Whoever reports that is a paid agent of the Federal Government. Let me use this opportunity to debunk the report”.
While repudiating the report further, Adeyemi revealed that NASU can not take a unilateral decision to suspend a strike that is being prosecuted under the auspices of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of both NASU and the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU).
He added, “There are four unions in the universities and inter-university centres that are involved in this struggle. How can any reporter claim that NASU is meeting to suspend the strike? There is no way NASU can suspend the strike when SSANU is clamouring for an extension of the strike by another one month to allow the government to address our grievances.”
Adeyemi also denied knowledge of another meeting with the Federal Government on the crisis, saying the first meeting was more on concerns of ASUU.
”Indeed, the meeting mandated NITDA to conclude its integrity test for the alternative salary payment platforms proposed by ASUU and the non-teaching unions and report back. The Salary, Income and Wages Commission was told to look at the salary structure and report back to the meeting” he explained.