Salary Arrears: FG Considers Half Pay For SSANU, NASU Members

Education Minister Tahir Mamman, who stated this on Channels Television’s Politics Today programme on Wednesday, argued that members of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) were not on strike for the same period in 2022 as their academic counterparts.

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In March, SSANU and NASU members embarked on a one-week warning strike to protest their withheld salaries by the Federal Government. The two unions berated the Federal Government for paying withheld salaries to the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) while neglecting the non-academic unions.

All the unions had embarked on an eight-month strike in 2022 to press home some of their demands including a better welfare package. The administration of then President Muhammadu Buhari subsequently invoked a ‘No Work, No Pay policy’ against the unions but President Bola Tinubu last October approved the release of four of the eight months withheld salaries.

SSANU and NASU accused the Federal Government of unfair treatment and discrimination by failing to pay them like their academic counterparts.

The education minister said the government has been “doing everything possible to get a relief for them”.
Asked what has delayed the payment to NASU and SSANU members, the minister said, “No, it has not been approved”.

“There is a court judgement on no work, no pay. ASUU getting four months’ pay was actually a discretion and decision on the part of the President. So, it doesn’t automatically transfer (to NASU and SSANU) but the matter is under consideration.”

Asked to give a time to the payment of the non-academic varsity staff members, Mamman said, “I don’t think it is safe to put a time on it but it’s safer to say that we are on it and we are pushing.

“And in any case, the non-academic staff, they were not on strike for the same period with the academic staff — about four months or so. So, if they are getting payment, it is going to be half of that (payment), if the President will follow his precedent with the academic staff.”
On the claim of discrimination by NASU and SSANU, the minister said, “That cannot be right, there is no rating. These are people working in the same terrain, they are doing different things but all working towards the same goal.

“I believe what happened was a communication problem, it wasn’t deliberate to exclude them from that benefit.”

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