ASUU, OAU management disagree on strike
The crisis rocking Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ile-Ife, over the disbursement of Earned Academic Allowance (EAA) is yet to abate as members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the institution’s management disagreed over strike action called by ASUU.
While ASUU’s National President, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, insisted that members are on indefinite and total strike over managements’s failure to follow laid down template for the disbursement of EAA, the university urged parents and members of the public to disregard any notice of strike, saying academic activities is ongoing in the institution. Osodeke had blamed the vice chancellor, Prof Eyitope Ogunbodede for the strike embarked upon by the OAU branch of the union.
He said the industrial action declared as a result of unpaid EAA was caused by the vice chancellor and not the Federal Government.
The ASUU chief said only lecturers who have done excess work are entitled to EAA and are paid based on the volume of work done.
He said: “The template is what other universities, over 40 of them, have used based on the amount of money released by the Federal Government since last December.
He faulted the VC’s decision to involve a parallel union within the university, known as Congress of Nigerian Universities Academics (CONUA), which is proposing a fresh template to calculate the allowance each lecturer should get.
Osodeke said: “CONUA was not only an illegal trade union, the money was given to OAU in the name of ASUU and not CONUA, hence the body cannot dictate how it should be shared.
But the university authorities in its reaction said academic activities is ongoing in the institution. The university’s spokesman, Mr Biodun Olanrewaju, in an interview with The Guardian, said there are two academic unions in the institution, ASUU and CONUA, and it is only ASUU that has called its members out on strike.
However, he said there was a meeting of all academic staff on Tuesday where it was agreed that the management should set up a committee to look into the vexed issue.
He said: “Only a small fraction of lecturers who are members of ASUU are talking about strike, while the bulk of lecturers are at work and not contemplating on any strike. A larger percentage of lecturers in the university are at their duty posts with other activities going on as scheduled on campus.”
Olanrewaju urged parents and guardians to disregard asked students to disregard the circular from any quarter declaring industrial action in the university.
In a statement made available to The Guardian, Olanrewaju said overwhelming majority of the academic staff in OAU are not on strike neither do they have the intention of going on strike.
The statement read in part: “The university management is using this medium to inform the general public, particularly our students, their parents or guardians, that lectures are ongoing and students are being attended to by lecturers in their respective departments.
“In view of this, parents, guardians, alumni and friends of the university are assured of uninterrupted academic calendar, as our students are advised to go about their normal academic activities because there is no cause for concern or alarm.”