The Nigerian Project Initiative (NPI) and the Initiative to Save Democracy (ISD) yesterday described as hollow, self-centred and vexatious, the demand by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for payment of members’ salaries for the six months the union has been on strike.
The federal government had last week rejected the union’s demand and noted that that was the only thing stalling the negotiation with the striking university lecturers.
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In a joint statement, the CSOs expressed outrage on the determination of the lecturers to keep the students at home with the union’s demand for salaries not worked for.
A joint statement by Mohammed Umar Salihu, chairman, NPI and Akinloye James, chairman, ISD, read: “It’s particularly provoking that other unions in the academic community pursuing almost the same goals have decided to go back to work, but ASUU members, rather than follow suit are demanding payment for work that they did not do.
“Which employer does that? If, for example, the government were to heed them, would that not be a recipe for disaster as NASU and SSANU which have agreed to go back to work would now resort to strike to demand the same salaries that they forfeited during the strike?
“It’s a rule in industrial relations that unions keep a strike fund and ASUU through its president has admitted that they have been paying their union members.”