A nationwide strike of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) seems inevitable as the union goes toe to toe with the Federal Government.
The federal government has been unable to honour its part of the agreement signed with ASUU in 2009. Therefore the union has begun the process that may lead to a nationwide strike soon.
According to reports, ASUU has begun collation of signatures of members through referenda which would determine the type of strike in terms of time to embark on. Some of the problems relate to academic allowances, change of pension administrators, remittance of needs assessment funds, issue of staff and possible renegotiation of condition of service.
Former Welfare Secretary, ASUU, Kaduna State University, Mallam Ahmad Buba urged the federal government to fulfill its part of the 2009 agreement to avoid another strike action, which will further deteriorate the country educational system.
He said: “The union has, over time revolving and unlike before, they now collect members’ view when it comes to critical issues like this.
“That means, the outcome of the referenda which is simultaneously going on across the country will determine whether the strike will be one week, two weeks, months or indefinite.
“Like I said, if members say we should go ahead so be it and if they said no, so be it. We are not antagonising the government, but we are only demanding for what we know is our right. We have legal team and that means we are not doing any illegal thing.
“What we are saying is the 2009 agreement should be implemented. We are not asking for too much. We are saying pay us our allowances, move our pension from administrators currently handling it to Servicom, remit our need assessment funds, continue funding our staff schools among others.
“Let education gets more budget percentage because it is the bedrock of other developments. Let’s stop brain drain which is becoming daily occurrence in our educational system.
“When an Army General retires, he continues enjoying his last salary as pension while a Professor will retire and that will be the end. Its time to renegotiate all these details for our education not to suffer any setback again.”
ASUU also threatened to go on an indefinite nationwide strike over it members in Boko Haram’s captivity. The union declared that it may go on strike if its members that were abducted by the terrorists are not rescued at the expected time.
This came few days after some members of the University of Maiduguri chapter of the union were abducted in an ambush by the terrorists in Borno State.