Group supports 5-day warning strike by SSANU, NASU, NAAT

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    • Says it’s another sign that Buhari has failed on public education
    The Education Rights Campaign (ERC) has declared full support for the decision of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NASU) to embark on a 5-day warning strike from Monday 16 January 2017 to compel the federal government to fully implement the tenets of the 2009 FGN/ Non-Teaching Staff Union agreement. 
    The group in a statement by Hassan Taiwo Soweto, National Coordinator, and Ibukun Omole, National Secretary, called on the federal government to immediately meet the demands of the unions in order to stem this dangerous cycle of incessant closure of campuses and disruption of academic calendar which have become permanent features of public education under this government.
    “We believe that given the sordid conditions on campuses today characterized by low funding and inadequate teaching facilities, students, parents and the general public as a matter of necessity must support all struggles of the staff unions to challenge government to fulfill its social responsibilities. This is why we call for solidarity actions to back the struggle of these striking unions and demonstrate that the struggle to salvage public education is one that unites students, staff and the working class,” they declared. 
    “We also call on the striking unions in particular not to make this warning strike a mere sit-at-home action. As the ERC has pointed out repeatedly, a common mistake of past struggles waged by unions in the education sector as well as the wider labour movement is to mis-interpret the role of a warning strike thus mismanaging the potential that this kind of action has in detonating a bigger movement that can win concessions,” they stated.

     

    The group was of the view that a warning strike is an action that presupposes the possibility of a bigger and longer action(s) in future, especially, if government remains intransigent. It maintained that, therefore, a warning strike is a preparatory action whose essential purpose is to signal to the government that the workers are ready to fight but more importantly to prepare the fighting forces, educate them and mobilize them for the bigger struggles impending. 

    “It is our view that this 5-day warning strike can only be adjudged successful if side by side with workers effectively withdrawing their services, public programs like congresses, mass meetings, symposium, rallies, media campaign and leafleting are organized. This kind of public activities will allow the unions to take their case to the students and the general public thus exposing government insincerity with a view to securing the support of the critical mass of the students and the working people which would prove useful if at some time later the unions are forced by continuous government intransigence to embark on indefinite strikes or actions of similar nature,” Soweto and Omole declared.

    They contended that not only does the 2017 appropriation bill contains one of the lowest allocations to education in recent times, there have been too many closures of Universities, Polytechnics and Colleges of Education over the past 19 months. it was narrated that  Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) has been shut for eight months, as well as  the University of Lagos, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB), Federal University of Technology Akure (FUTA), University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT), Adekunle Ajasin University Akungba Akoko (AAUA) and others. 

    They lamented that the Buhari/APC administration, just like the Jonathan/PDP administration before it, sees public education as a business instead of a social responsibility to the people.

    “This is why anti-poor policies of education underfunding, privatization, commercialization and hike in fees which were the ruinous policies of past regimes have been preserved and are now being implemented with gusto by the Buhari administration,” they decried.

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