FG to Pay Half of Withheld Salaries for SSANU, NASU Members Upon President Tinubu’s Approval

The Federal Government has announced plans to disburse half of the withheld salaries to non-academic staff members of universities once President Bola Tinubu approves the payment of their salary arrears.
Education Minister Tahir Mamman made this revelation during an appearance on Channels Television’s Politics Today  on Wednesday, shedding light on the ongoing negotiations between the government and university unions.
Mamman clarified 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 duration in 2022 as their academic counterparts.
While academic staff, represented by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), received four months’ worth of withheld salaries, non-academic unions have yet to receive similar compensation.
In March, SSANU and NASU embarked on a one-week warning strike to protest the non-payment of their salaries by the Federal Government. The unions expressed dissatisfaction with the government’s decision to prioritize ASUU’s salary arrears while neglecting non-academic staff members.
The minister acknowledged the government’s efforts to address the concerns of SSANU and NASU, stating, “We have been doing everything possible to get relief for them.” However, Mamman noted that the approval for the release of the withheld salaries has not been granted yet, citing a court judgment on the ‘No Work, No Pay policy’ and President Tinubu’s discretion in approving ASUU’s payment.
When 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.”
Responding to allegations of discrimination by NASU and SSANU, Mamman dismissed the notion, stating that there was no intentional exclusion of the non-academic unions from receiving salary benefits.
He attributed any discrepancies to communication challenges rather than deliberate discrimination, emphasizing the shared goal of all university staff in advancing the education sector.
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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