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Strike: ASUU Holds NEC Meeting To Consider FG’s Offer

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The National Executive Council, NEC, meeting of Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, will hold next Monday to decide on the offers by the Federal Government for it to end its ongoing strike.

The meeting promises to be a decisive one and may determine whether the government would axe the union as being contemplated.

This is just as a member of the NEC revealed that whatever would be the decision of the union would be in the best interest of the university system.

However, National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said his union was yet to officially get any offer from the government’s side.

He said: “We have been negotiating with them through collective bargaining and whatever they have should not be made to us on the pages of newspapers. It should be done the way it is expected to be done.

“Our main problem with the government is that there is trust deficit. They will say something and do another thing.

“After the Memorandum of Action was signed last year with them, they were supposed to pay some money in two tranches starting from August last year, but they did not do the needful.

“As for other unions suspending their actions, ASUU is not a one man show, we will look collectively at whatever is presented to us. But as at now, nothing has been officially offered.”

However, checks by Vanguard revealed that the coming NEC meeting could lead to the Federal Government coming down hard on the union if it decides to continue with the strike.

It would be recalled that the union has been on strike since February 14 and three weeks ago, extended it for another four weeks that would terminate next Monday.

Non-teaching staff, under the aegis of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU and Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Allied Institutions, NASU, have already suspended their industrial actions and are set to resume work tomorrow.

Also, National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, is holding its NEC meeting on Thursday and would also suspend its action, leaving ASUU as the only university staff union still on strike.

TAKE OFFERS FIRST, PARENTS COUNSEL ASUU

This is just as parents, under the aegis of the National Parents Teachers Association of Nigeria, NAPTAN, have called on ASUU to take the offers by the government first, while pending issues are being addressed.

The National President, Haruna Danjuma, in a chat with vanguard correspondent, yesterday, said though the expectations of the striking workers might not be fully met, it was better to have something to hold on to than having nothing.

He said: “I have got information about what the government is offering, regarding salaries and payment of allowances. As our children have been at home for all this while, their future is of essence.

‘’The Briggs Committee proposed higher salary in the region of over one million naira monthly for a professor, but what is being offered is short of that. The truth is that all the sides cannot get everything they want.

“We are losing lecturers to other nations, while valuable time is wasted on strike. There will always be a mid course to take and my suggestion is that ASUU should take the offers first while other issues are being sorted out.”

In an earlier report on Monday, the Federal Government was ready to release money to revitalise the universities, pay Earned Academic Allowance and also jerk up the salaries of the workers a bit.

It is hoped that the union would accept the offers and avoid being proscribed as being contemplated.

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Education

ASUU Brace For Another Face-Off With FG

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The Federal Government and members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU may be bracing for another round of face-off, recent developments between the union and the government have indicated. 

Fidel Info reports that The Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, has insisted that the government will not pay full salaries to lecturers despite their ongoing nationwide protest.

Adamu, made this stance while speaking with State House correspondents in Abuja on Wednesday.

The minister insisted that the government resolution,  that the protesting lecturers would not be paid for work not done, was in line with the ‘No work no pay’ policy.

Recall that ASUU had on Monday begun protests across the country to press home their demand for full pay after the Federal Government refused to pay them for the eight-month period the lecturers were on strike.

ASUU, which had earlier, in February, embarked on strike, called off their strike in October, following an order by the Court of Appeal.

Following the development, the government paid the lecturers half salaries for the month of October while insisting that it would not pay for the eight months they were on strike.

But, ASUU began protests across the country over the half salaries paid by the government for the month of October.  

In reaction to the protest, the education minister declared on Wednesday that the lecturers “would not be paid for work not done.”

The minister also reacted to the allegation made by the President of ASUU, Professor Emmanuel Osodoke, that paying the lecturers on a pro-rata basis was a ploy to make them casual workers.

“Nobody can make university lecturers casual workers,” he said. 

Adamu said he was not aware that the lecturers were threatening a one-day action to protest the government’s action.

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Education

ASUU Branches Begins Traditional Voting Today

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Branches of the Academic Staff Union of Universities will begin their customary vote today (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday) about the union’s ongoing strike.

The National Executive Council will receive the various branches’ decisions for final decision-making.

This information was provided to the PUNCH correspondent in Abuja by a highly-placed source within the NEC on Tuesday.

“We got the directive after the meeting with the speaker yesterday(Monday). The intervention was timely. Branches will vote between today and tomorrow after which the decisions will be convened to the NEC,” the source said.

The new development follows a meeting with Femi Gbajabiamila, speaker of the House of Representatives, who organized many talks between the union and the Federal Government side.

The strike would end in a few days, according to Femi Gbajabiamila, SAN, the lead attorney for ASUU, who also stated this to The PUNCH.

The government’s inability to satisfy ASUU’s unmet requests, according to the union, prompted the union to go on strike on Monday, February 14, 2022.

After “failed negotiations,” the minister of labor and employment Chris Ngige hauled the lecturers on strike to the National Industrial Court.

On September 21, the National Industrial Court ordered ASUU to end the strike.

The federal government’s request on notice was granted by the court, ordering the lecturers back into the classrooms.

In his decision on the interlocutory injunction, trial judge Polycarp Hamman prohibited ASUU from carrying out the industrial action until the outcome of the lawsuit brought by the federal government against ASUU.
Unhappy with the decision, the union went to the appeals court to challenge it.

Additionally, a request for a stay of the Industrial Court’s judgment was made.

The Court of Appeal ordered the striking lecturers to “immediately” call off the eight months strike, having struck out ASUU’s application for a stay of execution of the lower court’s order.

It said it was within ASUU’s right to appeal the decision of the industrial court.

Agreeing with the federal government’s argument that ASUU cannot approach the appellate court with “dirty hands”, the panel held, “should the applicant fail to obey the order (of the lower court), the leave granted shall be automatically vacated.Branches of the Academic Staff Union of Universities will begin their customary vote today (Tuesday) and tomorrow (Wednesday) about the union’s ongoing strike.

 

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Education

FULL DETAILS: Appeal Court Orders ASUU Immediately Call Off Eight-month Old Strike

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities’ request for leave to appeal was approved by the Court of Appeal in Abuja (ASUU).

The leave so granted enables ASUU to formally contest the National Industrial Court’s interlocutory order directing its members to return to work until the outcome of the Federal Government’s substantive lawsuit against the strike that ASUU had initiated. The order was issued on September 21.

A three-judge panel of the court, presided over by Justice Hamma Barka, issued an order on Friday directing the professors on strike to “immediately” end their eight-month strike.

The court struck out ASUU’s request for stay of execution of the Industrial Court’s order, which its lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN) withdrew on Thursday.

The appellate court said should ASUU fail to re-open the universities, the order to appeal against the interlocutory injunction of the National Industrial Court “will be automatically vacated.”

It gave the union seven days within which to file its notice of appeal against the order issued by the National Industrial Court.

Justice Barka said, in the lead ruling, that “I am inclined to granting the application to appeal the decision of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria.

“But, the order of the lower court shall be immediately obeyed.”

Justice Barka agreed with ASUU that it was with its right to appeal the decision of the Industrial Court.

The judge also agreed with the Federal Government that ASUU could not approach the appellate court with “dirty hands” having failed to first, comply with the September 21 order.

He said “should the applicant (ASUU) fail to obey the order (of the lower court), the leave so granted shall be automatically vacated.”

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