SOME Civil Society Organisations namely the Nigerian Project Initiative, NPI and the Initiative to Save Democracy, ISD, have expressed outrage over the demand for the payment of six months’ salaries by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, before calling off its strike.
NPI and ISD, however, vowed to mobilize against ASUU describing the union’s strike as hollow, self-centred and vexatious.
NPI AND ISD, in a joint statement by their chairmen, Mohammed Salihu and Akinloye James, the CSOs said: “The demand by ASUU to be paid for the months its members were on strike is hollow, self-centred and vexatious.
“It is 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 is 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. So, it is thus apparent that ASUU by its demand is now seeking double pay for its members for work not done.”
“For the sake of our students, who have missed out on account of the strike, we expect ASUU to rush back to work at this time and look forward towards repairing the damage that has been done through the strike instead of this resort to financial blackmail.”
Vowing to mobilise other civil society groups for a showdown against ASUU, the two unions said: “ASUU has lost it this time and we dare say that if by this week ASUU sticks on to its selfish demands we would be compelled to lay siege to ASUU offices across the country given that all men of good conscience are against ASUU.”