AAU lecturers insist on strike over non-payment of salary
The Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, (AAU), Edo State chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has defended what it insisted is a total strike by the teachers over the non-payment of four months salary by the state government.
A statement yesterday in Ekpoma by the chairman, Prof. Monday Igbafen and the secretary, Dr. Anthony Aizebioje-Coker and made available to journalists in Benin explained that the current strike which commenced on Thursday, March 25 was also occasioned by the failure of the university administration and the Edo State Government to address issues of check-off dues and other sundry deductions which run into billions of naira.
Igbafen and Aizebioje-Coker noted that check-off dues and other sundry deductions have not been paid to staff unions, welfare associations and cooperative societies in the university for close to a year.
They justified the strike action, noting that they embarked on the strike after painstaking efforts, including several letters to and meetings with the university administration and Governing Council to avoid the ongoing strike hit brick wall.
They emphasized: “The current strike is a just cause, given the fact that the worker deserves his or her wages. No amount of threat by agents of the university administration or state government should be allowed to derail our struggle. Members are reminded that the strike is total, comprehensive and indefinite.”
The chairman and the secretary recalled the non-response to the official union’s memoranda seeking audience with the governor who is the Visitor to the school over the salary palaver and other critical issues of governance.
They noted the continuing debilitating human and living conditions of members as a result of the intolerable problems of non-payment of salaries and the general crisis in the university.
They reminded the lecturers that the only directives valid for ASUU members during the current strike are those issued by the union’s appropriate organs (exco/strike coordinating committee), adding that the directives of the authorities are not the union’s directives.
Igbafen and Aizebioje-Coker insisted that any member acting on directives from the government and the school is engaged in anti-union activity.
They noted: “The Union hereby advises all members against giving in to misinformation about the state of the strike such as the one being peddled under the cover of so-called Congress of University Academics (CONUA) in the media. The Union is aware of the attempts by two colleagues, Dr. Hanson Iyawe and Dr. Ernest Nwoke, who are using their offices as Heads of Departments to intimidate their colleagues.
“For instance, Dr. Hanson Iyawe has fixed a Board meeting for March 26, 2021, when the strike would have taken off. Members are advised to ignore him and his antics. The union will protect all members against any threat and intimidation from some of these desperate colleagues who are abusing their official positions.
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