SSANU, NASU’s Strike enters second day

88

As the seven-day warning strike by members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) enters its second day on Tuesday, grounding activities at the nation’s public ivory towers, the Federal Government has criticised the non-academic staff’s action, claiming that their withdrawal of services violates Section 18 of the Trade Dispute Act.

On Monday, the two unions began a seven-day warning strike, with workers in the register, bursary, works and maintenance, security, and student affairs withholding their services.

According to individuals who have visited public universities around the country, nothing moves administratively within any public university in Nigeria since hostels and varsity gates are sealed and electricity is turned off.

SSANU and NASU are both protesting the Federal Government’s withholding of their pay. Both unions criticised the Federal Government for paying withholding payments to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) while ignoring non-academic unions.

The unions had declared an eight-month strike in 2022 to fight for some of their objectives, including an improved welfare package. The administration of then-President Muhammadu Buhari then implemented a ‘No Work, No Pay policy’ against the unions, but President Bola Tinubu last October allowed the release of four of the eight months’ delayed salary for ASUU members.

However, SSANU President Mohammed Ibrahim accused the Federal Government of unfair treatment and discrimination against non-academic unions by failing to pay them as much as their academic counterparts.

Ibrahim suspected “saboteurs in his government” and questioned why the President would issue an order requiring varsity union members to pay 2022 arrears while other government officials refused to comply.