FUTO ASUU protest over Federal Government’s ‘No work, no pay’ stance
ACADEMIC Staff Union of Universities (ASSU), Federal University of Technology, Owerri (FUTO) chapter, has described Federal Government’s directive of ‘No work, no pay’ as anti-labour, and a slavish treatment against ASUU members.
FUTO ASUU Chairman, Chinedu Ihejirika, stated this when he led members on a peaceful protest to the office of the Vice Chancellor over the lingering FG/ASUU face-off, yesterday.
Ihejirika said the union would continue to protest if FG failed to address its demand, including payment of withheld salaries, which, according to him, is more than seven months.
He said: “Recall that ASUU embarked on strike on February 14, 2022, to press home its demands to save the Nigerian university education system, and, by extension, the country.
“Unfortunately, rather than address contentious issues, government, through its agencies, resorted to blackmail, falsehood and highhandedness, including weaponisation of hunger by withholding salaries of our members, and dragging us to court without exhaustive negotiations.
“The most recent of government antics is the casualisation of academics, through the pro-rata payment of October salaries after ASUU had listened to well-meaning Nigerians, obeyed court orders, and suspended the strike action.
“We reject the casualisation of academics through pro-rata payment of half salaries to our members. We urge government to stop, forthwith, the weaponisation of hunger to whip academics into submission, and pay us our seven months withheld salaries.
“We urge government to honour their agreements, stop the ‘No Work, No Pay’ anti labour rule, use the first ever developed and home grown payment platform, University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), to pay university teachers, listen to voice of reason and stop the humiliation of academics, who are generators of knowledge in Nigeria.
“We wish to use this medium to tell both government and the public that the fate of any nation lies with intellectuals. This slavish and ill-treatment of university teachers only spells doom to the future of our children and the nation at large.”
Reacting, the institution’s Vice Chancellor, Prof. Nnenna Oti, represented by her Deputy (Academics), Prof. Godfrey Nwandikom, assured the union of her support, and urged them to remain peaceful in their agitation.