The Academic Staff Union of Universities, University of Abuja branch, has challenged the Federal Government to mention any of the things done to bring to an end the ongoing strike embarked upon by the union, declaring that the strike will be sustained.
The Union’s branch chairman, Dr Kassim Umaru, stated this in an interview with newsmen at the end of its Congress, held at the University’s Mini Campus in Gwagwalada on Tuesday.
He said the Congress deliberated on issues around the strike and vehemently pronounced and reject the offer presented by the federal government, saying that the National Executive Council would meet at the end of the four weeks ultimatum to take its decision.
He said, “As far as we are concerned, the federal government has not done anything to our various demands.
“The 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 these committees had their recommendations.”
Speaking on the ‘no work, no pay’ policy as stated by the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, Umaru said the ILO and the 1981 trade Union act were very clear on that.
“Our salaries are always negotiated, it is not something you feel you can pay us, it is something that you have to sit down to talk and agree that you can pay us.
“As far as we concerned, our job is different from any other civil servant’s; it is the job you are going back to do, you are not paying for an hour you are paying for the job we have done, so it is their responsibility to pay us and if they said they are not paying us, it is 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 that we know is the strike continues.”
Reacting to the reports that the federal government had approved another N100 billion for the university unions as part of the 2009 agreement, Umaru said all these were being said in social media and newspapers.
He added, “Is there any document to our union? We should begin to ask them these questions. The students will have to be patient, it 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 than to do what we are doing and we must do it so that we can compete with the external world.
“In the entire world today, nobody jokes with education. If you are talking of economy, you are talking of cultural and social aspects, you must invest in education. No single country jokes with education like the way Nigerians are doing,” the ASUU chairman said.
He noted that the Union has a structure on how it takes decisions and at the end of the expiration of the ultimatum on Sunday, the needful will be done.