ASUU backs SSANU, NASU on warning strike

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said it does not in anyway objected to the members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities(SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Universities (NASU) from embarking on one- week warning strike.

It said both unions and any others within the university system have the rights to do so if deem necessary.

The National President of ASUU, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, said this in an exclusive interview with Nigerian Tribune on Sunday night.

He was asked to react to SSANU and NASU one-week warning strike commencing on Monday.

Osodeke said even though ASUU would have loved not to comment on NASU, SSANU embarking on the industrial action, what is not ideal is for one union to be making reference to another union to justify its decision to embark on strike or press home its demands from employers.

Osodeke declared that ASUU would never do that as every union has its own way and power of negotiation on matters affecting members.

“And that is what we call unionism and not about what your employers do for another union members.

“You bargain on a separate note and based on your conviction about what you are fighting for and that is what is ideal in unionism.

“And so it not that because you pay ASUU members four months salaries, you must also pay four months to us as SSANU and NASU or NAAT.

“That is not correct because ASUU members were owed seven and half months and not four months.

“So, there is no point in this case for NASU, SSANU to be referring to ASUU before getting what they believe is their entitlements from the employers.

“But even at that, we are not saying that SSANU and NASU or any other union have no rights to withdraw their service to press home their demand from government.

“They are indeed have the rights to do so,” he emphasised.

However, while declaring that ASUU members would continue with their work as they are not on strike, Osodeke advised Federal Government on what it should do to avert disruption of activities in the nation’s universities.

According to him, it would have been better and more honourable if the Federal Government can clear all the backlog of withheld salaries of all the university workers across unions and also meet other needs.

“It should do so if truly believes in its renewed hope mantra and the spirit of development as it is not advisable to allow the system to be plunged into another rounds of industrial actions before it starts to take action.”

He declared that while ASUU is also still asking for the payment of the remaining three and half months withheld salaries for members amidst other demands, Osodeke emphasised that “The Federal Government should just allow all the backlog of salaries and other matters of all the university workers to go once and for all and start the system on a new and clean stale so that the nation’s university system would enjoy non-interrupted system any more.

“So, we hope that the government will do what is right to safe the system,” he concluded.

SOURCE: NIGERIAN TRIBUNE

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