Indications have emerged that there might be no end in sight in the ongoing strike embarked upon by non-teaching staff of universities.
As a result of this, there are claims that the federal government has concluded plans to invoke the no work, no pay policy despite efforts by the Senate to mediate in the industrial face-off.
The non-teaching staff union comprise of three main unions including: Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non Academic Staff Union of Associated Institutions (NASU) and the National Association Academic Technologists (NAAT).
The three non-teaching staff union under the auspices of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) have been on strike since December 4, 2017 over failure by government to implement the agreement signed by both parties in September 2017 as well as the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the unions and government in February 2017.
They vowed that the ongoing strike will continue until their demands are met by the federal government.
However, TheNation reports that the Minister of Labour, Senator Chris Ngige, who doubles as the Chief Conciliator in all industrial disputes, has written to the Federal Ministry of Education to invoke the no work, no pay policy on the striking workers, describing their action as illegal.
It is also understood that the letter from Ngige might jeopardise efforts of the National Assembly to intervene and resolve the matter amicably.
The news outlet quoted a reliable source close to the minister as saying:
“Yes, the minister has written to the Ministry of Education as well as the Ministry of Health to invoke the no work, no pay policy on striking workers.
“I don’t have the details of the letter. But I can confirm to you that the letter has already been dispatched to the relevant ministries.”
When contacted, National Chairman of the Joint Action Committee of the non-teaching staff and President of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Comrade Samson Ugokwe, said the unions were yet to be informed about the existence of such a letter.
He said: “We consider that as a rumour because we have not been informed. We have official means of communication with the ministry and they have not informed us.
“We have been talking with the ministry of education. But when they inform us about the directives, we will then know how to handle it.
“For now, we will assume that such a letter does not exist because if it does exist, we will know what to do.”