The National Executive Council of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will today meet to take a position on whether to call off the strike or declare an indefinite strike, based on the resolutions of the state congresses of the union.
ASUU president, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, had earlier confirmed that the NEC would meet to take a decision on the strike based on the outcome of the state congresses which held at their various branches last week to deliberate on the latest offers by the Federal Government. The four-week rollover strike expired on Sunday, August 28.
The union has been on strike since Monday, February 14, 2022, to press the Federal Government to address lecturers’ demands.
It was gathered that most of the state chapters of the union voted for a continuation of the strike. According to a source, the offers by the Federal Government, including 35 per cent salary increase, as well as the position of the government on the no work-no pay policy, which the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said the lecturers would not be paid for about six months they have been on strike, were rejected by the state congresses.
While the government has addressed some of the issues demanded, ASUU is said to have rejected the 35 per cent salary increase, which Osodeke described as “miserly”.
The ASUU coordinator of Port Harcourt zone, Stanley Ogoun, had revealed that the Federal Government offered to increase the salaries of professors by N60,000. In contrast, other lecturers would have their salaries increased within the range of N30,000 and N60,000.
He also noted that the government promised to release the revitalisation fund of N170 billion which would be included in the 2023 budget.
While the last meeting between the Federal Government team and ASUU leadership was deadlocked because of rejection of the proposed 35 per cent salary increment, the disagreement was aggravated by the comments credited to the minister of education, Malam Adamu Adamu, that ASUU would not be paid for the months they have been on strike.
What has been happening over the years is that before any strike is called off, ASUU must ensure that a no-victimisation clause involving payment of salary arrears to the lecturers during the strike period is signed by both parties.
Sometimes, ASUU would insist on receiving the alerts by members before the strike would be suspended.
Sources, however, said today’s meeting is expected to suspend the strike for a few months or declare a full-blown indefinite strike.
Other staff unions, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Allied Institutions (NASU), and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), have suspended their actions for a few months, to allow the Federal Government to look into their demands.
Some state universities, including Kwara State University, Kaduna State University, and Ekiti State University, opted out of strike while also criticising the ASUU president over his alleged uncomplimentary comments.
Source: Nigerian Tribune