The Edo State government yesterday suspended all union activities in state institutions of higher learning following protest by students of Ambrose Alli University (AAU), Ekpoma, over the lingering strike by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
The decision which was made after the State Executive Council (SEC) meeting, yesterday, is to take effect immediately.
In a statement, secretary to the state government, Osarodion Ogie, said the affected unions include ASUU, Non-Academic Staff of Universities (NASU), Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU), Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP), Non-Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics and all allied unions operating across all state-owned tertiary institutions.
Ogie noted, “By this notice, academic activities are to resume in all state-owned institutions and all cadre of staff are directed to report to their duty posts immediately.
“Students across all state-owned tertiary institutions are expected to resume for lectures as necessary measures have been taken to ensure resumption of academic and non-academic activities.”
He added: “Management of the affected institutions have been mandated to pay all outstanding salaries immediately.
“The management of Ambrose Alli University, Ekpoma, is hereby directed to implement a no-work-no-pay policy, declare vacant and advertise the position of any staff that refuses to resume work in line with this directive.”
Responding, AAU Ekpoma ASUU chairman, Cyril Onogbosele, said the state government has no power to ban its activities because the union didn’t register with the state government.
“We have seen the release banning the activities of union in the state institutions including ASUU. ASUU is a legal trade union and we have right of association’s activities in the eye of the law, so on what basis is he banning union activities because students protested because the union is on strike.”
He said the union is on strike and that the school management was duly notified on the strike over the 17 months’ salary owed the union.
“So is he saying, we don’t have the right to say pay us and go on strike, what is illegal in the activity that we have carried out. Is strike not recognised by law used to pressurize employers to address the issues?” he said.