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Why our meeting with FG ended in deadlock-ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has explained that the meeting with the Prof. Nimi Briggs-led committee, last Tuesday, ended in a deadlock because the committee presented an “award of a Recommended Consolidated University Academic Salary Structure (CONUASS), prepared by the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission” to it.

A statement by the President ASUU Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke said the ‘award salary’ was “against the principle of collective bargaining, based on the Wages Boards and Industrial Council’s Decree No 1 of 1973, the Trade Dispute Act (1976), ILO Conventions 49 (1948), 91(1950), 154 (1988) and recommendation 153 (1981), Udoji Commission Report of 1974, and Cookey Commission Report of 1981.”

The report, it noted, “also provided a platform for resolving such important issues as special Salaries and Conditions of Service of University Staff, University Funding, roles of Pro Chancellors, Vice-Chancellors, and National Universities Commission (NUC). A key outcome was a special salary scale for university staff known as University Salary Structure (USS).”

The union demanded that “the Federal Government, through the Ministry of Education, should return to the New Draft Agreement of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Renegotiation Committee whose work spanned a total of 5.5 years as a demonstration of good faith.”

The Union expressed anger that the “award” presented by the Nimi Briggs-led team came across in a manner of “take-it-or-leave-it on a sheet of paper,” noting that: “No serious country in the world treats their scholars this way.”

In the statement, tagged: “Why ASUU Rejects Government Award of Salary”, the union claimed that the “government imposed the ongoing strike action on ASUU and has encouraged it to linger because of its provocative indifference.”

The Minister of Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, stated on Thursday that the strike might linger.

He stated that ASUU demanded to be paid during the time they were on strike, but the government refused to do so, citing that it applied the law to their action.

Writing by Daniel Adejo