After getting an annual payment offer of N220 billion for the next five years, from the federal government, following a marathon meeting that ended Tuesday, indications have emerged that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) may lose the sympathy of many and may make the government wield the big stick if it rejects the recent offer by the government, with a full blown implementation of the ‘no work, no pay’ policy likely to break the ranks of the union and cause disaffection among the members who would feel the pinch of their salaries being withheld.
The union had however, insisted that it wanted N350 billion in 2014 and N400 billion annually for the next four years.
A labour leader who was privy to the details of the meeting between President Goodluck Jonathan and the National Executives of ASUU told Thisday yesterday it would be in the best interest of the union to accept the proposal.
“Once you meet the president of a country, where else do you want to go? Who else do you want to meet with? The leadership of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and Trade Union Congress (TUC) were present at that meeting. If we cannot find an exit, then we are in serious trouble.
“You cannot leave a strike open-ended, it will backfire seriously. If the government had started the ‘no work, no pay’ policy as soon as it was obvious that ASUU was bent on prolonging the strike, the strike would have been over by now. It would have broken the ranks of the members,” the source said.
The source added that although labour leaders are of the opinion that the government holds the major part of the blame for the strike, they (labour leaders) also think that ASUU has overdone it.
“If after all these, ASUU remains adamant, then it would be obvious that they have a political agenda. It may also be an ego thing for ASUU NEC who realise that ASUU has been known to be a union that strives on holding governments to ransom,” the source added.
Sources say the meeting of ASUU’s NEC will hold in the next one week.