Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has opted for an amicable resolution of their industrial dispute and half-salary payment by the Federal Government.
Gatekeepers News reports that Emmanuel Osodeke, ASUU President issued a statement condemning the ‘pro-rata’ payment to its members and accused the government of an attempt to reduce Nigerian scholars to casual workers.
“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,” Osodeke said in the statement.
“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,” the union leader exclaimed.
According to him, ASUU National Executive Committee (NEC) held on Monday deliberated on the development and 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”.
ASUU called off its eight-month strike on October 14, 2022 after the National Industrial Court ordered the lecturers to resume.
The Federal Government over the weekend had defended the pro-rata payment to ASUU members in October, saying they cannot be paid for work not done and dismissed reports of the government being biased in paying the university teachers.
“They were paid in pro-rata to the number of days that they worked in October, counting from the day that they suspended their industrial action,” the issued statement partly read.
“Pro-rata was done because you cannot pay them for work not done. Everybody’s hands are tied,” he said.
Femi Gbajabiamila also added that the ‘no work no pay’ policy embarked on by the Federal Government during the period of strike is legal and based on the Government’s legitimate interest in preventing moral hazard and discouraging disruptive industrial actions.