ASUU threatens fresh strike as members protest payment of half salary

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has threatened to embark on another as its members protest the federal government’s invocation of the ‘no work, no pay’ policy.

Recall that on Friday, October 16, 2022, ASUU suspended its eight-month-old strike which had shut down public universities in the country to demand full implementation of agreements it had entered into with the Federal Government a few years ago.

While the ASUU strike lasted, the federal government had insisted on implementing the ‘No Work, No Pay’ policy when the university teachers were away from their duty posts.

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However, things took a new turn last Thursday, November 3, 2022, when it was gathered that the government only paid half-month salaries to the university teachers.’

Reacting to the development the ministry of Labour stated that ASUU members were paid their October salary pro-rata, and not half salary as the media widely reported.

According to the ministry, pro-rata was done because they cannot be paid for work not done.

On November 7, 2022, Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, appealed to members of the ASUU to be patient over the half pay by the Federal Government.

He assured the lecturers, in a statement, that lasting solutions to their concerns were being sought, noting that President Muhammadu Buhari was treating their fresh protest.

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Gbajabiamila rationalised that government’s no work, no pay policy was premised on preventing moral hazard and discouraging disruptive industrial actions.

However, the union after its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting on November 8, 2022, stated that it will not be embarking on strike but will employ other means to press home its demands.

On Tuesday, November 15, 2022, members of the union in the University of Lagos chapter, who locked down the campus by marching from the Julius Berger Auditorium to the main gate, also boycotted classes, as the day was declared lecture-free.

They called on Nigerians to tell FG that any attempt to casualise lecturers would spell doom for the university system and cripple it.

The Chairman, ASUU UNILAG,  Dr. Dele Ashiru, who condemned the ‘pro-rata’ payment of October salary to his members, accused the government of an attempt to reduce Nigerian scholars to casual workers.

While noting that the protest was to prevent any form of academic crisis, Ashiru said:  “What the government did is against the national labour law and we are trying to avert the resumption of another ASUU strike.

“The action of the union by suspending the strike 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.

“Sadly, the treatment meted out to ASUU by the government has demonstrated they cannot be trusted. As the union has been using every means to negotiate with the government rather they keep deploring weapons to frustrate us and keep us in abject poverty.

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