The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has accused the Federal Government of attempting to turn university lecturers into casual workers with the payment of half salaries in October.
ASUU’s National Executive Committee (NEC) reached this resolution at an emergency meeting held on Monday, 7th November 2022.
The union, which criticised the government for the payment of salaries of its members on a pro-rata basis for 18 days in October, said that the action is unprecedented in the university system.
ASUU president, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, disclosed the resolution in a statement released on Tuesday, insisting that ASUU members are not casual workers and should not be treated as such.
Osodeke described the action of the government as “an aberration” and a contravention of their rules of engagement.
He said the union’s national executive committee (NEC) “noted with dismay that paying academics on a ‘pro-rata’ basis, like casual workers, is unprecedented in the history of university-oriented labour relations and therefore condemned this attempt to reduce Nigerian scholars to casual workers in its entirety.”
The issue: The statement from Osodeke noted that ASUU suspended its eight-month strike in October out of respect for the court and also because it believed it would set the tone for an amicable resolution of the dispute. However, the government doesn’t seem committed to keeping to its end of the bargain.
“The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) suspended its eight-month strike on 14th October 2022, in obedience to the order of the National Industrial Court and further consideration of intervention efforts of well-meaning Nigerians, including the Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.
“The action of the union was a display of manifest trust in the judiciary and other institutions and organs of government to always put national interest above all other considerations. This, we believe, as a union of thinkers, intellectuals, and patriots, will not only aid the process of amicable resolution of the crisis but will also set the tone for smooth industrial relations between the government and Nigerian workers at large.
“Unfortunately, the response of government towards ASUU’s demonstration of trust was the so-called ‘pro-rata’ payment for eighteen days as the October 2022 salaries of academics, thereby portraying them as daily paid workers! This is not only an aberration but a contravention of all known rules of engagement in any contract of employment for academics the world over.”
Dismayed lecturers: Osodeke commended the lecturers for their “perseverance” in the face of untold hardship and unwarranted provocation by the ruling class.
He also appealed for the understanding of students and their parents as ASUU pursues a resolution of the dispute within the ambits of the law.
The back story: Recall that over the weekend, the federal government, in defence of the pro-rata payment to ASUU members in October, said they cannot be paid for work not done, adding that the government was not biased in paying the university teachers.
Meanwhile, the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, said on Monday that the green chamber is making arrangements for an N170 billion fund for ASUU in the 2023 budget. He admitted that the ‘no work no pay’ is legal.Follow us on social media