Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) may lose eight months of their pension as a result of the strike, according to the Federal Government.
Following a private meeting at the presidential palace with President Muhammadu Buhari, the minister of labor and employment, Chris Ngige, delivered this statement in Abuja.
Ngige, who referred to 2022 as a year of strikes, stated that because of the “no work, no pay” policy put in place while their strike was in effect, members of ASUU invited the fate that would befall them.
Recall that the apex university union terminated its eight-month strike but did not receive its full month’s salary as a result, leading to an argument between ASUU and the federal government.
“ASUU has not pronounced anything on their salary anymore because it’s one of the issues that was referred to the National Industrial Court for determination, whether a worker who is on strike should be paid in violation of Section 43 of the Trade Dispute Act which says when you go on strike, the consequences are these.
“Number one, you will not be paid, you will not be compensated for not going to work to enable your employer keep the industry or enterprise afloat. That money should not be given to you, and that compensation should not be given. It’s there in Section 43 (1). There is a second leg for Section 43, it also said that period you were on strike will not count for you as part of your pensionable period of work in your service.
“That aspect, government has not touched it, but the aspect of no-work-no-pay has been triggered off by that strike. So we are asking the court to look at it. So the matter is out of the hand of the Executive (that’s us) and out of the hand of the judiciary. ASUU has also put up a defence in court, asking the court, “yes we went on strike, but we did that for a reason.” So it’s now left for the court to look at it.”
Ngige explained his purpose for visiting the presidential villa: to inform the President about the labor market for 2022.
“It’s a year we can call a year of industrial dispute starting from the February Academic Staff Union of the Universities (ASUU) strike which was joined by other sister unions in the university system and even the people in the research institutes and thereafter pressed from various unions, including the Medical Doctors Association and the youth wing of the National Association of Resident Doctors.
“JOHESU which is the Joint Health Sector Union were all asking for a wage increase, and asking for a wage increase can also be understandable because of what inflation had done to the economy and the attendance cost of living for people who have to be workers in the public sector.
“In the private sector, the private sector employers have managed their affairs better, maybe, because their finances and its management is within their very audit and they could control it, they could do collective bargaining very easily with their workers. The banking sector, food and beverages, and finance, insurance, everywhere; there is calm there. We didn’t have the desired calmness on the government’s side because of the government’s finances, “Ngige told State House correspondents.
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