Saturday, 11 June 2016

ASUU should not be allowed to embark on another strike.

If the information at our disposal is anything true, lecturers of Nasarawa State University, Keffi are gearing up for another strike, just about two weeks after they suspended the initial one.

Even though the possibility of this has not been confirmed, the lecturers under the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, have been summoned for an emergency meeting on Monday 13 June, 2016, of which it is believed the main issue for discussion is the unpaid three months salary.

Some of the lecturers who were interviewed, expressed their anger on why the school management decided to pay the non-academic staff, who are currently sitting at home for the same reason of unpaid salary, while the academic staff were left empty handed.

Before the strike was suspended, the Chairman of the Union in NSUK, Dr. Theophilous Lagi, had warned that the Union could reverse the suspension if the salary of members are not paid.

According to him, “the strike was only suspended, not called off”.

he exclusion of the lecturers in the reported payment of two months salary to the non-academic staff may have incensed ASUU, hence this rumour of another strike.

If it is true that some members of the academic staff, especially some Deans of Faculties were paid their own salaries neglecting their colleagues, this is also is enough to mife anyone. We do not understand the rationale for such discrimination.

It is true that some ASUU members received the Earned Academic Allowance, EAA, following the agreement it reached with the Governing Council, but that cannot be equated to their salary. Besides, not all the lecturers received the EAA. A good number of them, especially those who were recently employed or did not take a large number of classes, received nothing or peanuts.

Many lecturers who did not benefit from the EAA told this medium that they cannot even return to Keffi owing to the unpaid salary.

The government of Nasarawa state and management of NSUK should as a matter urgency move to avert the possibility of another strike by paying the salaries of these lecturers immediately. If there is any reason why this cannot be done now, dialogue should be initiated and engage the lecturers in discussion that will hold them off till fund is ready to pay them.

Government must start to sound sincere with unions, rather than the hide and seek game that has the potential of causing serious social and economic problems for citizens.

ASUU should also show understanding by not declaring another strike and give authorities some time to stabilize themselves considering the present economic condition of the state.

They should also know that no matter how reasonable their demands are, the present economic reality has compounded things. The public opinion may also not be in their favour.

It should also not be forgotten that students have started trooping into Campus, in celebration, to resume classes after spending three months at home; if another strike should commence, the dangers are so varied and predictable, and the joy they knew may just turn into anger, even rage and the consequences can only be imagined...

Academic calendar has been distorted, property have been lost to vandals and thieves as a result of the strike, parents have toiled despite the harsh economic climate to send their wards back to school; the worst that can happen now is a declaration of another ASUU strike.

Above all, Nasarawa State University being a young university certainly does not deserve this on and off calendar. Its reputation is being dragged down with stories like this coming out every time. The once celebrated young and productive Ivory Tower is losing its famed glory, and with many lecturers signaling their intention to exit from the institution, it is only a matter of time before it collapses into nothingness.

This is the time for every concerned individual to speak to those who hold the ace. Nasarawa State University must not be allowed to slide into perpetual neglect.

However, students should not allow this development to weigh them down. They should not hesitate to return to school as we believe that something will be done to avert this. Your presence will also send a powerful message to those in authority.

Every stakeholder must rise now and say no to another strike. The cost of another strike far outweighs its benefits.

Enough is enough!


No comments:

Post a Comment

Powered by Blogger.