By Adesina Wahab
The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has said it appears the Federal Government is confused about how the university system works and that the union will not be bothered by the decision to invoke the ‘no-work, no-pay’ policy by the government.
The union stated this on Thursday while reacting to the statement by the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, that the withheld salaries of the lecturers would not be paid to serve as a deterrent to any worker planning to go on strike in the future.
The union, which spoke through the Lagos Zonal Chairman, Dr Adelaja Odukoya, said the claim that the University Transparency and Accountability Solution, UTAS, developed by the union to replace the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System, IPPIS, did not pass integrity test, was far from the truth.
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Odukoya, a member of the National Executive Council of ASUU, said: “If they have not paid us for six months and we did not die, we cannot die now.
“But they must be told that they are going to pay us our salaries, that is sure. The job of a lecturer involves teaching, research and community development and if we are not in class now, we are doing those other things.
“As for the IPPIS, why are they contradicting themselves on this issue. They themselves said and agreed that UTAS, when it was subjected to integrity test, performed much better than their IPPIS.
“It is the fraud being perpetrated through the IPPIS that is making those benefiting from it to go on sticking to it.
“They are saying that we had no reason to go on strike, if there was no reason, why are they proposing a new salary structure?
“They have set up a lot of committees with nothing to show for it. In May 2021, they set up a committee to work on our demands, nothing came out of it till we started strike in February this year.
“When we started strike, they gave another committee three months to do some things, yet nothing concrete came out.
“They are ignorant of how things work in the university system,” he said.
Meanwhile, the National President of the National Parents Teachers Association of Nigeria, NAPTAN, Alhaji Haruna Danjuma, has called for a truce and that hard stance by parties would not solve the problem.
“Life is about give and take and hard stance won’t solve the matter.
“Both the government and the union should look for a mid-course and sheathe their swords.
“Our children have stayed at home more than necessary and we are tired of this war between the two sides.
“Time is being wasted. A quick resolution of the crisis is what we stand for, ” he stated.