If the federal government continues to enforce the no work, no pay policy, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has vowed to skip the backlog of classes that have been postponed due to its seven-month strike.
After a special congress and protest rally on Monday, ASUU members, primarily from the University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) Chapter in Rivers state, claimed that the policy did not apply to them because they had resumed work where they had left off seven months earlier and were currently catching up on backlogs by combining two sessions.
Chairman, ASUU, Uniport, Dr. Uzoma Chima, said, “Today’s special congress and protest rally is to express our dissatisfaction with the recent attempt by the federal government of Nigeria to reduce university lecturers to daily pay casual workers.
“Because we know that there is nowhere in the world where university lecturers are treated as casual workers. So, today we invited parents, and students to let them know the state of things since the suspension of our strike.
“Since we suspended the strike following the National Industrial Court order, we have come back to resume our duties and currently doing the backlogs of work we should have done during the strike. As a union of intellectuals, our job makes the no work, no pay policy not applicable to us.
“Because during the strike we were doing research. It was only teaching we were not doing. We were doing research and members engaged in community services. The teaching that was not done, we are doing already. We are clearing the backlog of work.
“So, today, we called parents and students to carry the issue to the public. Let them not see it as a fight for only ASUU because we know and it is so clear now that the ruling class wants to decimate the public universities. And of course, as the eggheads of the nation, we will not allow that to happen.”
“What we are going to do if the FG refuses to listen to us is so simple. If the government continues to say they will not pay us, we will abandon the work to do for those sessions and that will mean outright cancelation of those sessions.
“We will now wait for admission to be done for the 2022/2023 session so that we will continue from there.”
The inference is that such sessions will have to be forfeited by the university’s older students.
Their protest signs included messages like “FG, stop mistreating professors,” “Lecturers are not casual workers,” and “No to Pro Rata Salary Payment.”