Education Blues: University students may lose sessions to government’s ‘no-work, no-pay’ –ASUU

*Nigeria’s Academic Staff Union of Universities restates there is nowhere in the world where lecturers are treated as casual workers, accuses the ruling class of conspiracy to destroy public universities in the country

Isola Moses |  ConsumerConnect

As the current situation in the Nigerian University system remains disquieting, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has threatened to skip backlog of academic sessions halted by the Union’s seven-month-strike.

ConsumerConnect reports the Federal Government yet persists on the ‘no work no pay rule’ since lecturers suspended their strike and returned to classes.

ASUU members, mainly of University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) Chapter, in Rivers State, South-South Nigeria, following a special congress and protest rally Monday, November 21, 2022, argued that the policy does not apply to them.

Some of the inscriptions on their protest placards read, ‘No to Pro Rata Salary Payment’, ‘Lecturers are not casual workers’, and ‘FG, stop maltreatment of lecturers’.

The University lecturers noted had picked up from where they commenced tools seven months ago, and currently, clearing the backlogs of work, combining two sessions, according to report.

Dr. Uzoma Chima, Chairman, ASUU UNIPORT, was quoted to have said: “Today’s special congress and protest rally is to express our dissatisfaction with recent attempt by Federal Government of Nigeria to reduce University lecturers to daily pay casual workers.

“Because we know that there is nowhere in the world where university lecturers are treated as casual workers.

The Chairman also said: “So, today we invited parents, and students to let them know the state of things since after the suspension of our strike.

“Since we suspended the strike, following the National Industrial Court order; we have come back to resume our duties.”

We are currently doing the backlogs of work we should have done during the strike, said Dr. Chima.

He further stated: “As a union of intellectuals, our job makes the no work, no pay policy not applicable to us.

“Because during the strike we were doing research.

“It was only teaching we were not doing. We were doing research and members engaged in community services.

“The teaching that was not done, we are doing already. We are clearing the backlog of work.”

The Union leader also said: “So, today, we called parents and students to carry the issue to the public.

“Let them not see it as a fight for only ASUU because we know, and it is so clear now that the ruling class wants to decimate the public universities.

“And of course, as the eggheads of the nation, we will not allow that to happen.”

We’ll skip backlog of academic sessions, if…. -ASUU Chair

Meanwhile, Dr. Chima has hinted at what the lecturers will do, if the Federal Government refuses to apply the no work, no pay rule over the last national industrial action.

The UNIPORT ASUU Chairman stated: “What we are going to do if the FG refuses to listen to us is so simple.

“If government continue to say they will not pay us, we will abandon the work to do for those sessions, and that will mean outright cancellation of those sessions.”

He said: “We will now wait for admission to be done for the 2022/2023 session so that we will continue from there.

“What that means is that the old students in the university will have to lose those sessions, that is the implication.”

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