A Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Femi Falana, has stated that the ‘no-work-no-pay’ rule by the Federal Government of Nigeria is absolutely wrong. He said it is not applicable to members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) who are currently on strike.
According to Premium Times News, Falana said the FG acting through the National Universities Commission (NUC) lacks the powers to direct Vice-Chancellors to seize the salaries and allowances of striking lecturers.
It is recalled that the union embarked on the industrial action on the 5th of November 2018, over poor funding of Nigerian universities, alleged plan by the FG to increase students’ fees and introduce education bank, as well as non-implementation of previous agreements.
FG on Nov. 29 directed all VCs of federal and state universities to ensure that members of ASUU who are currently on strike shouldn’t be paid their salaries.
Femi Falana (SAN), said the government was not properly advised for resorting to a desperate measure of not paying the striking workers.
“Otherwise, it would have realized that even under the defunct military junta, the application of ‘no work no pay’ rule threat to eject lecturers living in official quarters, promulgation of a decree which made strike in schools a treasonable offense and the proscription of ASUU did not collapse any of the strikes by ASUU,” Falana stated.
“For the avoidance of doubt, section 31 (7) of the Trade Disputes Amendment Act provides that anyone who takes part in an illegal strike commits an offence and is liable upon conviction to a fine of N10,000 or six month imprisonment or to both fine and punishment,” Falana added.
Falana concluded by saying that the implication of the judgement is that a university whose employment enjoys statutory favor cannot be disciplined or sanctioned without being afforded the right of fair hearing by the Governing council.
“With respect to the current ASUU strike, no university governing council has accused any lecturer of misconduct to warrant the seizure of salaries and allowances,” Falana concluded.