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ASUU forecloses fresh strike, decries half pay

By Kanayo Umeh, Abuja
09 November 2022   |   4:06 am
Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has risen from its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting with a resolution not to embark on another strike.

[files] ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke

Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has risen from its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting with a resolution not to embark on another strike.

The body, however, condemned attempt by the Federal Government to turn academics into casual workers through its ‘pro rata’ payment for 18 days.

In a statement, yesterday, ASUU National President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, recalled that the union suspended its eight-month industrial action on October 14 in obedience to order of the National Industrial Court and further consideration of intervention efforts of well-meaning Nigerians, including Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

He noted that the decision was a display of trust in the judiciary and other institutions and organs of government to always put national interest above other considerations.

Osodeke, therefore, deplored the rationed payment for 18-day as October 2022 salaries of the lecturers.

He stated: “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 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 18 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.

“At an emergency meeting of the ASUU National Executive Committee (NEC), held on Monday, November 7, 2022, the Union deliberated on developments since the suspension of the strike.

“NEC noted with dismay that paying academics on ‘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.

“NEC commended members for their perseverance in the face of untold hardship and unwarranted provocation by some agents of the ruling class.”

Osodeke added: ASUU NEC, therefore, appealed for the understanding of Nigerian students, parents and other genuinely concerned individuals and groups, while the Union continues to pursue positive resolution of this avoidable crisis within the ambit of legality without compromising the interests and welfare of Nigerian intellectuals.”

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