National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) has rejected the idea of Document of Understanding (DoU) as a pre-condition for payment of the withheld salaries of its members. The union appealed to President Bola Tinubu to rescind his decision and approve unconditional payment of the withheld salaries.
Last week, Tinubu directed the granting of the waiver with a mandatory requirement that the Federal Ministry of Education and the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment must secure a DoU establishing that this exceptional waiver granted will be the last one to be granted to all other education sector unions.
However, the development did not go down well with the academic technologist union when its national president, Comrade Ibeji Nwokoma in a statement yesterday in Abuja described the DoU condition as draconian and undermines the fundamental human right to freedom of expression and association guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution.
Nwokoma pointed out that the work loss as a result of the strike action in 2022 has since been covered through extra work hours as students graduated are currently undertaking their mandatory national youth service programme as a result. He insisted that nothing has been lost due to the strike and called on well-meaning Nigerians to intervene to ensure payment of withheld salaries of its members in full for a sustainable industrial harmony.
He said, “The attention of the leadership of our great Union, the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) has been drawn to this development which we consider as a matter of great concern and worrisome. While we want to commend the President for his magnanimity in granting the partial waiver, we view the condition of DoU as draconian and undermines our fundamental human right to freedom of expression and association guaranteed by the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria as amended. NAAT rejects in its entirety the idea of DoU as a pre-condition for payment of the withheld salaries of our members.”