The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has insisted that it won’t call off its ongoing industrial action despite not being paid salaries since February.
ASUU president, Emmanuel Osodeke, disclosed this during an interview on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily on Tuesday monitored by our correspondent.
While accusing the Federal Government of using hunger as a tool to force the striking lecturers into returning to their classrooms, Mr Osodeke said the union would not succumb to the antics of the government.
“Our salaries have been held, this is the sixth month or salaries have been held. They thought that if they hold our salaries for two or three months we will come begging and say ‘pls allow us to go back to work.
“But we as a union of intellectuals, we have grown beyond that. You can’t use the force of hunger to pull our members back which is exactly what the government is doing,” the ASUU president said.
The union had been on strike since February 14 to press home its demands for a better welfare package, revitalisation of the universities and an alternative payment platform, amongst others.
On July 19, President Muhammadu Buhari had mandated the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, to resolve the lingering industrial dispute within two weeks.
When the two weeks’ timeline elapse, the union extended the strike by four weeks, accusing the government of insincerity.
The ASUU president, however, noted that the union is still open to negotiations with government representatives to end the industrial dispute.