Strike looms as university unions threaten nationwide shutdown

Impending Strike Threatens University Shutdown as Union Demands Remain Unmet

The Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-academic Staff Union of Education and Associated Institutions (NASU) have issued a stern warning to the federal government, indicating a possible nationwide shutdown of higher institutions due to the government’s failure to approve their demands.

In an interview with ChannelsTV on Sunday evening, SSANU President Mohammed Ibrahim revealed that the unions have given the government a seven-day ultimatum. He emphasized that if their demands are not met within this timeframe, universities across the country would be forced to close. Ibrahim asserted that both unions are prepared to embark on a strike if the government fails to act accordingly.

“We are responsible for various critical functions within universities, including security, administration, medical services, hostels, and electricity. Therefore, if our members down tools, it would render universities inoperable in Nigeria,” Ibrahim stated. He expressed regret over the situation, highlighting the dire circumstances faced by union members due to fuel shortages, scarcity of food, and inadequate medical services.

Addressing the unions’ grievances, Ibrahim underscored the importance of recognizing the essential role played by non-teaching staff in university operations. He criticized the government’s treatment of non-teaching staff, stressing that neglecting this segment of workers reflects poorly on the system.

Ibrahim recalled the previous strike action taken by university-based unions in 2022, during which NASU and SSANU participated. He noted that an agreement was reached with the government to address their concerns and ensure fair treatment of union members. However, Ibrahim lamented that the government failed to honor its commitment, particularly regarding the payment of withheld salaries.

He pointed out that while salaries were withheld for all non-teaching staff in May, they were only restored in September of the same year. Ibrahim expressed frustration that the government chose to prioritize the payment of salaries for members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) while neglecting NASU and SSANU members.

The looming strike threat underscores the urgency for the government to address the grievances of university unions and prevent disruptions to academic activities across the nation.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *