The ongoing strike of Academic Staff of Universities Union took another twist as the Senior Staff Association of Universities and Non Academics Staff Union Universities have rejected the proposed University Transparency Account System presented by the lecturers.
The Minister of Labour, Employment and Productivity, Senator Chris Ngige, made this known while speaking with journalists at the end of the budget defence of the Ministry.
Ngige said it is not proper to be using different payment platforms in the Universities, adding that the Ministry had already forwarded the UTAS to the National Information Technology Development Agency for assessment.
The Minister said: “We have sent their system to NITDA for assessment.
“They have to come back from strike to know what we can do in the interim.
“They have to come to hear that there are other systems in the University that they have their own system of payment and they are not going to go with UTAS.
“We have other associations in the Universities which are Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, Non-Academics Staff Union of Universities, National Association of Technologists in Universities.
“ASUU is not the only Union in the Universities.
“If we ignore them and what they are saying, even if ASUU comes back, they will close the lecture halls and the laboratories.
“We don’t want that to happen.
“That is why we are taking measure to carry everybody along.”
Ngige also said that lecturers have no other option than to return to class because they have already violated Labour law with this strike.
He said: “They will not have any other option than to return to work.
“The ILO principle on strike has some limitations.
“First and foremost, I have apprehended that strike by Labour Law, section 18 of Trade |Dispute, 2004.