The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN) chapter, on Tuesday, protested the pro-rata October salary payment and nonpayment of eight-month salaries owed by the federal government.
The union directed lecturers to withhold examination results and not participate in any department, faculty or senate council meetings to approve results until the government did the needful.
Speaking to journalists in Nsukka shortly after the protest, the chairman of ASUU-UNN, Christian Opata, said the congress aimed to get members’ input on issues concerning the union.
“ASUU-UNN has directed its members not to release results of examinations conducted or participate in any department, faculty or Senate council meeting to approve results until the government does the needful,” Mr Okpata said.
Mr Opata said the rally was to inform the university community of the inability of the government to pay the ASUU backlog of eight-month salaries and to protest the half salary paid to members when the union suspended the strike in October.
Nonetheless, he said lectures would continue.
“ASUU is saying no to the government policy of no work, no pay, but if the government insists on the policy, ASUU will not handle any academic activity that falls within those eight months.
“ASUU wants the government to honour its agreement with the union since 2009 and stop further attempts that will keep students away from school,” he said.
The ASUU chairman described as unfortunate the attempt by the government to treat lecturers as labourers by using the so-called “pro-rata” format to pay them their October salary.
“This is the first time in the history of this country that university academic staff are paid as casual workers.
“An indication that the present administration in the country has no regard for education,” he said.
Mr Opata threatened that if the government failed to do the needful, ASUU was determined to embark on what would be known in Nigeria’s history as the mother of all strikes.
“If the government thinks that implementing the policy of no work, no pay and withholding our salary will prevent us from embarking on strike again; it’s a big lie.
“If the government fails to do the needful, very soon ASUU will return to indefinite nationwide strike in public universities,” Mr Opata said.
The peaceful protest started from the Faculty of Social Science to the administrative block and major roads in UNN.
Some placards carried during the protest had inscriptions such as “We say no to intimidation by the government”, “kill education, kill the nation”, “Our government does not honour agreement”, “No pay no academic results, say no to pro-rata”.
“Pay us our salary backlogs, stop using pro-rata to pay us, lecturers are not casual workers”, “Enough is enough, mother of all strike is loading”, among others.