ASUU Threatens To Skip Backlog Of Academic Sessions If They Don’t Get...

ASUU Threatens To Skip Backlog Of Academic Sessions If They Don’t Get Full Salary

By Wires Editor | The Trent on November 27, 2022
Uzoma Chima, ASUU
Emmanuel Osadeke, the president of ASUU

Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has threatened to skip backlog of academic sessions halted by their seven months strike if federal government persists on the no work no pay rule.

ASUU members, mainly of the University of Port Harcourt, UNIPORT, Chapter, Rivers state, after a special congress and protest rally on Monday, November 21, 2022, argued that the policy does not apply to them because they have picked up from where they down tools seven months ago and currently clearing the backlogs of work, combining two sessions.

Uzoma Chima, the chairman, ASUU, Uniport, said, “Today’s special congress and protest rally is to express our dissatisfaction with recent attempt by federal government of Nigeria to reduce university lecturers to daily pay casual workers.

“Because we know that there is nowhere in the world where university lecturers are treated as casual workers. So, today we invited parents, and students to let them know the state of things since after the suspension of our strike.

“Since we suspended the strike following the National Industrial Court order, we have come back to resume our duties and currently doing the backlogs of work we should have done during the strike. As a union of intellectuals, our job makes the no work, no pay policy not applicable to us.

“Because during the strike we were doing research. It was only teaching we were not doing. We were doing research and members engaged in community services. The teaching that was not done, we are doing already. We are clearing the backlog of work.

“So, today, we called parents and students to carry the issue to the public. Let them not see it as a fight for only ASUU because we know and it is so clear now that the ruling class wants to decimate the public universities. And of course, as the eggheads of the nation, we will not allow that to happen.”

“What we are going to do if the FG refuses to listen to us is so simple. If government continues to say they will not pay us, we will abandon the work to do for those sessions and that will mean outright cancelation of those sessions.

“We will now wait for admission to be done for the 2022/2023 session so that we will continue from there.”
What that means is that the old students in the university will have to lose those sessions, that is the implication.”

Some of the inscriptions on their protest placards read, “No to Pro Rata Salary Payment, “Lecturers are not casual workers” and “FG, stop maltreatment of lecturers”.

Half-Salary: ASUU Declares Vote Of No Confidence On Ngige As A Mediator In Industrial Dispute

Emmanuel Osodeke, the national president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, on Tuesday, November 15, 2022, criticised the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, over his alleged authorisation of the part-payment of salaries to members of the union.

This comes after ASUU in October suspended its eight-month strike in line with an order by the National Industrial Court for the lecturers to return to work.

ASUU, on Monday, stated that it would embark on a one-day nationwide protest over the part-payment.

“He (Ngige) has gone to court, which means he has lost his right as a conciliator. Once he has taken this case to the Industrial Court, he has lost that right as a conciliator; he has no say again, but he’s still interloping,” Osodeke said on Channels Television’s Politics Today.

Asked what role the Minister of Labour currently plays in the matter, the ASUU president said, “He has nothing. He’s an interloper. If we’re calling him a conciliator, it has gone beyond him.

“And we have found that it was he who actually wrote to the Minister of Finance personally, not directed, that they should stop our salary. It’s just personal. We are surprised because, having taken the case to court, by all rights, he has hands are tied. He has no business with what we do.”

Osodeke expressed confidence that the agitations of the union would be resolved in the interest of students, parents, and the country.

“But to our surprise, the Accountant General Office decided to pay what some people have referred to as half. It’s very sad because professors who are on the same salary scale got varying amounts, N200,000, N180,000, N90,000 and what have you,” he said.

The ASUU president confirmed that the part payment was the first salary paid to union members since the strike commenced.

“The question we need to ask ourselves is, can a Minister of Labour direct the Minister of Finance on what to do? The answer is no. We are under the Ministry of Education, and we thought that anybody that can give such a directive who monitors what we do through the NUC is the Minister of Education.

“It is the Minister of Education, who we are under, and the Speaker on whose intervention we called off the strike because of the issue we said that, one, they are going to pay us backlog of our salaries because ASUU is different from another union,” he said.

Source: Vanguard

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