For the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), the real strike may be about to start — for the democratic right to be paid for work not done. That’s the “real deal” for the veteran and glorious “strikers”, moving from victory to victory!
Mallam Adamu Adamu, the taciturn minister of Education, just threw down the gauntlet: the Federal Government won’t pay ASUU for the six months or so they had been on strike. To up the ante, Minister Adamu said every other striking university union had agreed to settlement terms and were ready to call back their members.
It was only ASUU that demurred — and no prize for guessing right: it wanted the government to agree to the full payment of its striking members, even if they had not taught anyone, in the past six months! But why isn’t anyone surprised?
“All contentious issues between the government and ASUU had been settled,” the minister claimed, “except the quest for members’ salaries for the period of the strike to be paid, a demand that President Buhari has flatly rejected.”
Minister Adamu appeared in war mood: “The stand the government has taken now is not to pay the months in which no work was done. I think there should be a penalty for some behaviour like this,” he warned. “I think teachers will think twice before they join a strike. The government is not acting arbitrarily. There is a law which says if there is no work, there will be no pay.