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FUTA ASUU protests ‘no work no pay’, half salary

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Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) in Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA) on Wednesday, embarked on a protest to express dissatisfaction over the Federal Government
payment of half salary and ‘no work, no pay’ policy after resuming from their eight months strike.

The lecturers, armed with placards of inscriptions such as, “Pay the arrears of our salaries”, “ASUU FUTA says no to the criminalization of legal strikes, casualisation of the academics in Nigeria”, “Ngige’s rascality can’t solve the problems in the education sector, among others, said the rally became necessary to register their displeasure over the development

The protesting lecturers converged in the school, and marched through the school campus and said the peaceful protest as directed by the National body of the union was to register their displeasure against the half salary paid to them and the nonpayment of eight months’ salaries.

The Chairman of the union in FUTA, Prof. Olayinka Awopetu, said the protest is to let everyone know that ASUU in general and ASUU FUTA, in particular, is condemning in entirety the casualization of academics and the criminalization of the illegal strike.

He disclosed that the union had declared Wednesday a lecture and exam-free day in the school and called on Nigerians and stakeholders to prevail on the Federal Government to reverse the policy.

According to him, “it is illegal for the federal government to casualise the academics in Nigeria. This protest is to let everyone know that ASUU in general and ASUU FUTA, in particular, is condemning in entirety the casualisation of academics and the criminalization of the illegal strike.

“We did not go on strike because we wanted to go on strike but because the government failed to do its own part, so we can’t be punished for that.

“They are owing us seven and half months’ salary. Today is a lecture-free and exam-free day, we can’t be in this congress and protests and classes will be going on. If you go on legal strike, you shouldn’t be punished for it but we are being punished by withholding our salaries.”

The way forward for the federal government to do needful, pay us our money, the job they said we didn’t do is the job we are doing now and we will still continue to do because we discard our annual leaves so that it is made continuous, so it is not possible for the government to say we aren’t working.

If a doctor should go on strike a patient will die, when they come back, will they wake that patient up? Our students have continued from where we stopped in February and they are saying we’ve not worked.

“All these things are diversionary because the major thing is the government’s refusal to fulfil the agreement that we signed in 2009, that was why we went on strike and we are still on strike because we suspended it because of the court directive and the court cases have started and we shall be hearing more in the coming weeks and months.

The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) the Trade Union Congress and the Student Union leadership also joined members of the union in FUTA to press home their demand from the Federal Government.

The NLC Chairman, Mr Sunday Adeleye who was represented by his Secretary, Kehinde Shado, accused the federal government of attempting to reduce ASUU members to casual workers.

While the Students Union President, FUTA, Abiodun Ibiyemi, also reiterated that the students union were fully in support of ASUU’s position and agitation.

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