The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is threatening to skip the backlog of academic sessions halted by their 7-month-old strike should the federal government persists on its ‘no work no pay’ stance.
Members of the union, mainly lecturers from the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) Chapter, Rivers state, made this known after a special congress and protest rally on Monday, November 21.
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 argued that the policy of “no pay no work” does not apply to them because they have started lectures from where they stopped seven months ago and currently clearing the backlogs of work by combining two sessions.
Chairman, ASUU, Uniport, Dr. Uzoma Chima, 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. 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 and currently doing the backlogs of work we should have done during the strike. 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.
“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.”
“What we are going to do if the FG refuses to listen to us is so simple. If government continues to say they will not pay us, we will abandon the work to do for those sessions and that will mean outright cancelation of those sessions.
“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.”