December 2, 2022

The leadership of the oldest of the three coexisting academic bodies in Nigeria, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has decried the half-salary payment to its members by the federal government of Muhammadu Buhari following the suspension of its eight months old strike as an aberration.

The aggrieved union foamed that after it suspended the strike, 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!

IsL source, Vanguard, reports that the union in a statement, titled: “We Are Intellectuals, Not Casual Workers”, also said the action of the government was in contravention of all known rules of engagement in any contract of employment for academics the world over.

ASUU, in the statement released Tuesday, and signed by its president, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, following the National Executive Committee, NEC meeting it held Monday, in Abuja, said, “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.”

The statement read in full: “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 in 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 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.

“At an emergency meeting of the ASUU’s National Executive Committee (NEC), held on Monday, 7th November, 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 commends the membership of ASUU for their perseverance in the face of untold hardship and unwarranted provocation by some notorious agents of the ruling class.

“NEC further appeals 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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