THE Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), staged a protest over seven months withheld salaries of its members and threatened to abandon the backlog of academic activities.
The Protest was held within the Samaru Campus of the institution and it ended at the Mamman Kontagora Square.
Several members of the union carried placards with inscriptions such as “Respect the Principles of Collective Bargain”; “We say no to casualization of intellectual labour’’ and “ASUU is a protector of Public Institutions”, among others.
Speaking to newsmen, Dr. Hussaini Abdullahi, the branch Secretary of the union, said the protest was to express displeasure on the decision of the government to pay October salary on a pro-rata basis.
“We don’t know why the government took such a decision but to our knowledge such decisions violate the rules of engagement for academics.
“We have convened a special congress and rally; the congress resolved that we would abandon the backlog of academic activities if the government refuses to pay the seven months withheld salaries.
“This is the position of the chapter and it will be forwarded to the National Executive Council (NEC) for consideration,’’ Abdullahi said.
While responding to the cancellation of the session as suggested by some members during the protest, the secretary said the suggestion would also be part of their submissions to the NEC for deliberation.
He added that the condition of service for the academic staff differs from those of the mainstream civil service, stressing that academics are employed to teach, conduct research and community services.
He said the union just stopped the teaching component during the strike but to our dismay, we were paid on pro-rata basis.
He, therefore, described the pro-rata salary as a crass mischief by the government and its agents towards cajoling the union to reconsider its stance.
Abdullahi said ASUU-ABU Branch condemned this attempt by the government to maltreat and disrespect academics.
The secretary said the union embarked on strike on Feb. 14 to press on the government to implement the agreement entered into with the union; fund for revitalization, and payment of earned academic allowance, among others.
He said the union suspended the eight months strike on Oct. 14 in compliance with the ruling of the National Industrial Court and subtle intervention of the Speaker House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
He said the union appeals to the speaker, parents, students and other well-meaning Nigerians to call on Mr. President to urgently resolve the dispute between the union and federal government. (NAN)