The new union, our correspondent gathered, would be named Nigerian Universities Administrative Staff Union (NUASU).
This was made known by the chairman of Non-Academic Staff Union in Obafemi Awolowo University, Mr. Wole Odewunmi, on Monday.
He also said the non-academic staff of OAU would not join the ongoing nationwide strike jointly declared by the Joint Action Committee of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, NASU and the National Association of Academic Technologists.
It was learnt that the new union formation is spearheaded by the non-academic staff in OAU.
Odewunmi explained that the action was necessary because of the alleged poor concern showed by NASU in university workers matter.
He said, “We in OAU are not participating in the national industrial action. We are forming another university-based union that will know what exactly is happening to universities’ non-academic workers.
“That is exactly what you have for other unions like SSANU, ASUU, and NAAT. They are focused on the university system.
“NASU comprises many trade unions and they appear to be too much for the national leadership to handle effectively. They rarely care for what is happening to us in the university system.
“This is not about OAU alone, some other universities have joined us. We have travelled all over the nation – North, South and East – to meet others and they have given their consent.
“At present, we have almost 12 universities on ground with us. Immediately we complete the registration, more will join us. Some of them joined this strike because they are not bold enough to stand alone like us in OAU yet. We have written the national secretariat that we are not part of them again.”
Odewunmi explained that it took the intervention of other unions to ensure the commencement of the ongoing strike.
He also complained that the OAU branch of NASU got no support from the national body during the vice-chancellorship crisis in OAU.
NASU national body had dissolved the OAU branch executives of the union over the branch’s insistence that the process of appointment of Prof. Ayobami Salami as VC was not transparent.
He said, “Yes, what the three unions are fighting for is basically for those in the university. If not for the other two unions that stood firm, NASU would not have taken any step. There have been many issues that are reported to NASU national body that were treated with levity.
“They show less concern for university staff, yet 75 percent of our due goes to the national headquarters while we manage the local branch with 25 per cent.
“We have discovered that instead of wasting our dues, we can use it to finance another union.”
When contacted on the telephone, the General Secretary of NASU, Mr. Peters Adeyemi, debunked the formation of a new union, saying, “It is a rumour.”