The National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) announced a three-day warning strike starting Wednesday due to the non-payment of four months’ salaries, as instructed by President Bola Tinubu.

NAAT will Begin a Three-day Warning Strike on Wednesday Over Withheld Salaries
NAAT will Begin a Three-day Warning Strike on Wednesday Over Withheld Salaries

In October 2023, the President ordered the payment of four months’ salaries to university workers who had engaged in a prolonged strike in 2022. Citing concerns unaddressed by the then government.

The former President, Muhammadu Buhari’s administration enforced the “No work, no pay” policy. Resulting in withheld salaries for the duration of the strike.

Payment Discrepancies Lead to Strike Action

The Academic Staff Union of Universities has received payment for the four months as directed by the president. But members of NAAT are still awaiting payment.

NAAT issued a statement signed by its president, Ibeji Nwokoma, to announce the three-day warning strike. The decision to go on the strike was approved during the union’s emergency virtual meeting of the National Executive Council.

The statement said, “We must inform you of the resolutions made by NAAT’s National Executive Council during its emergency virtual meeting on Wednesday, March 13, 2024. It was decided to conduct a three-day warning strike and a nationwide protest. Starting from Wednesday, March 20 to Friday, March 22, 2024.

“This action aims to emphasize our demand for the payment of NAAT members’ withheld salaries, which was approved by the Presidency.”

The statement stated, “We feel obliged to inform you of the resolutions made by NAAT’s National Executive Council after its emergency virtual meeting on Wednesday, March 13, 2024. They decided to initiate a three-day warning strike. And a nationwide protest starting on Wednesday, March 20, and ending on Friday, March 22, 2024.”

Call for Fair Payment and Government Accountability

This is to allow the union to emphasize its demand for the payment of NAAT members’ withheld salaries, as approved by the Presidency.

This became necessary because of the unfortunate situation where four months’ withheld salaries were paid to members of a sister union, while members of NAAT were excluded.

The minister should take note that despite his assurances at the high-level stakeholders meeting held at the Idris Abdulkadir Auditorium. NUC Secretariat on Thursday, January 11, 2024, regarding the payment of withheld salaries being fair and equitable. And despite the union’s letter of appeal for fairness and justice dated February 16, 2024. To which the minister’s office did not respond or acknowledge, the government has yet to fulfill its promises.

Therefore, Nwokoma urged the Federal Government to take action or accept responsibility for any disruption of academic activities in universities.

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