FG summons SSANU, NASU to meeting over strike threat

There are indications that the threat of an indefinite strike by the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions, NASU, has hit the right chord, prompting the Federal Government to summon a meeting on Thursday in the office of the Minister of Education, Prof. Mamman Tahir.

Grievances over unpaid four-month salaries of SSANU and NASU members had prompted the leadership of both unions to issue a strike threat, which was expected to commence on Thursday, July 4.

Both SSANU and NASU members had incurred the wrath of government when they joined an indefinite strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, back in 2022, denying them their salaries for four months. Fortunately, while the government under President Bola Tinubu has ordered the payment of ASUU, other unions within the university system are yet to get their fair entitlements.

Recall that the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Labour and Employment, then under Chris Ngige as minister had invoked the ‘No Work, No Pay’ policy, which caught up with the entire unions when they went on a protracted strike.

Despite the presidential directive to release their salaries, SSANU and NASU members have been ignored by those implementing the directive.

Shortly after assuming office as Minister of Education, Prof. Tahir Mamman reiterated that all affected unions are to benefit from the payment.

This was reliably informed that government had begun a move to avert the looming strike, following a memo inviting the officials to a meeting by 1 pm on Thursday to address the contentious issues.

A source privy to the meeting said: “The Minister of Education has called to meet with SSANU and NASU today, maybe to persuade us not to go on strike. We will honour the invitation. We are also going to meet with the Minister of State for Labour and Employment by 3 pm.”

It was also gathered that the Joint Action Committee of SSANU and NASU had earlier been scheduled to meet by 10 am on Thursday, before proceeding for the meeting.

JAC had planned to meet on July 4, after the expiration of the two-week ultimatum, to review the response of government to their demands and declare an indefinite strike if the government continues to renege on the payment of their withheld salaries.

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