Emmanuel Osodeke, newly-elected president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), says the union will not hesitate to embark on another strike if the federal government reneges on its promise.
The union had last year embarked on a nearly 10-month strike — which it later suspended — over the non-implementation of its demands by the federal government.
ASUU had also opposed the adoption of the government’s Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) while suggesting that its University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) be used as alternative payroll software.
According to PUNCH, Osodeke said the strikes and crises rocking varsities across the country are far from over.
He also stated that his leadership would resume the strike experienced under Biodun Ogunyemi, his predecessor, should the issues that led to the industrial action remain unaddressed.
“It is continuity, we run a collective leadership. So, it’s continuity from where my immediate predecessor stopped. It (the crisis) is not yet over. The government has the opportunity to ensure that the crises are over. It is just to implement those things,” he said.
He said the government has already defaulted in meeting the deadlines given by the union to address some of its demands, adding that the narrative must change to avoid another strike.
“You know we were on strike till late last year. We reached an agreement on how to implement the outstanding issue with the government. We will expect the government to implement those issues with timelines,” he added.
“They have reneged on a number of them in line with the timelines. But, we believe that it is not late; they can still resolve those issues for the peace and development of our universities.
“They cut your salary today, they pay those who they want to pay today, they withdraw those next week; they expect those people to come to Abuja to come and beg them or look for other things for them. So, these cannot continue in a university system.
“As a union, we don’t love strike because we have our children here. Ninety-nine per cent of lecturers in Nigeria have their children in Nigerian universities, unlike the politicians who are actually destroying the system. How many of them have their children in this country?”
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