The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, Akwa Ibom State University, AKSU, branch has defied the directive to return to the classroom as payment of salaries from the month of June 2021 will be based on the “no work no pay” policy.
The lecturers at the State-owned University had embarked on strike towards the end of April over the payment of 75 percent of their salaries for 10 months and nonpayment of the new minimum wage.
Reportedly, students were barred from entering the premises at both the main campus Ikot Akpaden, Mkpat Enin LGA and annex campus in Obio Akpa in Oruk Anam LGA by the Joint Action Committee (JAC), comprising the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Non Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated institutions (NASU), and National Association of Academic Technologist (NAAT).’
Some students who spoke to newsmen from outside the Obio Akpa campus lamented that they did not finish writing their second semester examination when the lecturers decided to embark on the strike.
A female student who spoke on ground of anonymity for fear of victimisation said, “I just came to school this morning because of the announcement that lecturers should resume today, but the whole ennvironment is dry.
“When I arrived at the school gate, I met some lecturers and they told me that I should go home because they are not returning to the classroom until they are paid. The Vice Chancellor just ordered the lecturers to commence academic activities but they are saying no salary, no work.
“But our concern is that thieves have started breaking into students rented rooms off campus, and stealing students things. It is a serious situation. Some students locked their rooms and traveled because of the strike, because we don’t have hostel accommodation here”.
The AKSU management in a statement entitled ” A Call on all members of staff to return to their duty posts’ and signed by the Registrar Mr John Udo, urged the staff to return to their duty post as payment of salaries from this month would be based on “no work no pay” policy.
The statement dated June 03, 2021 and obtained by newsmen yesterday in Uyo reads, “The Vice-Chancellor has directed all staff members of Akwa Ibom State University to return to their duty posts by Monday, June 07, 2021 and that payment of salaries from the month of June 2021 will be based on “no work no pay” Government policy.
” The Vice-Chancellor has appealed to all members of staff to comply accordingly,”
It could be recalled that while responding to the issue recently during a citizen live interactive session, the State Governor, Mr Udom Emmanuel said he releases N329 million every month to the management of the institution.
But the factional ASUU Chairman, Dr Ime Okop, had in a swift reaction frowned at the situation saying, “What the governor went on air to say is not what we will contest, it is left for the management to explain. What we know is that the university has been receiving the sum of N250 million as monthly subvention as at 2019.
“So, if the state government has increased it to N329 million, it is left for the management to explain, and let us know when the amount was increased. We are asking for our salaries to be paid in full and other allowances. We have been receiving haIf salaries, percentage salaries, and you cannot tell which month you were paid or not.
It could also be recalled that when the Vice-Chancellor appeared before the House Committee on Education Chaired by Mr. Godwin Ekpo, it urged the Vice-Chancellor to do everything possible to bring to an end the lingering issue bedeviling the institution.
Responding, the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Nse Essien had assured, “We are on top of the matter and we are having series of meetings with various stakeholders to make sure that students and lecturers return to classrooms by next week”.
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