THE Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, University of Abuja branch, has said contrary to the claim by the federal government, the union has not received N100 billion from the federal government.
The union blamed the government for its ongoing strike, saying it frustrated all sincere efforts it had made to end the industrial action.
The University of Abuja Branch Chairman, Dr. Kassim Umaru, speaking on Tuesday during the union’s congress at the University’s Mini Campus in Gwagwalada, said “the congress deliberated on issues surrounding the strike and vehemently rejected the offer presented by the federal government.
Reacting to reports that the federal government has approved another N100 billion for the university unions as part of the 2009 agreement, Umaru said “all these that are being said in social media and newspapers are not true.”
“Is there any document to our union? We need to start asking them these questions. The students will have to be patient, this is a fight we have to do once and for all and it is a fight for the future of unborn children.
“We have no alternative but to do what we do and we have to do it so that we can compete with the external world.
“In the whole world today no one jokes with education, when you talk about economy you talk about cultural and social aspect, you have to invest in education, no country jokes with education the way Nigerians do,” the ASUU – chairman said.
Umaru, who said the union has a structure on how it takes decisions, added that the National Executive Council, NEC, will meet at the end of the four-week ultimatum to make its decision on the ongoing strike.
According to him, “at the end of the expiry of the ultimatum on Sunday, the necessary will be done.”
“As far as we are concerned, the federal government has not done anything to our various demands.
“Federal government should tell the Nigerian public what they have done. The two committees that were set up, the Nimi Briggs committee was set up, the Jubrin committee was set up and all these things had their recommendation before then.
“They had to get that agreement signed and implemented, but it’s not an offer, it’s just a bare statement that we’ve heard from the government, because history has it that it’s collective bargaining at every level, but when you abandon collective bargaining and you are throwing an award to someone who we need to sit as stipulated by law,” he continued.
Speaking on the no-work-no-pay policy as stated by the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, he said the ILO and the 1981 Trade Union Act were very clear on that.
“Our salaries are always negotiated, it’s not something you feel you can pay us, it’s something you have to sit down to talk and agree that you can pay us.
“As far as we’re concerned, our job is different from any other civil servant, it’s the job you go back to, you don’t pay for an hour you pay for the work we’ve done, so it’s there responsibility to pay us and if they said they don’t pay us and if they say they don’t pay us it’s a joke taken too far.
“As it is, they have not called our union and Nigerians should know that we have not been called, no invitation to our union and all we know the strike is continuing,” he explained.