We are ready to work -CONUA
The Non-academic staff’s salaries not yet paid by Adesina Wahab and Joseph Erunke
The reason why the Federal Government reversed itself on the decision to reopen public universities despite the ongoing strike by members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Emmanuel gathered that pressure from opinion leaders and other stakeholders interested in resolving the face-off between the union and the government led to the government asking that the circular, earlier sent to approved the reopening of the universities, be withdrawn.
“But after the circular became public and people started interpreting what the results could be, it was agreed that the circular would be withdrawn to also allow for more negotiation between the government and the union,” a source said.
But the Acting Director of Public Affairs, the National Universities Commission(NUC) Mr Ayo Haruna, committed to our correspondent the withdrawal of the circular dated September 23, this year.
The latest updates for ASUU strike of the previous date
But the latest circular calling for abrogate of the previous one was dated September 26, 2022, and still signed by the same person, Mr Sam Onazi, the Director of Finance and Accounts, NUC. It was referenced NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/ 136.
The circular stated thus: Re: Forwarding of court acumen and enforcement of the order by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria,(NICN), in suit No NICN/ABJ/270/2022
Cancellation of circular Ref NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135.
“I have been directed to take back the National Universities Commission (NUC), circular Ref: NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135 and dated 23rd September 2022 on the above subject. So, the said circular stands withdrawn.
“All Pro-Chancellors and Chairmen of Governing Councils, as well as Vice Chancellors of federal universities are to please note. Further, development and information would be communicated to all applicable stakeholders.”
Reaction of Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).
Earlier, while reacting to the directive for the universities to be reopened, the National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, had told vanguard that the FG was not anything to his members.
“We are not holding the keys to the campuses. We did not close down any university. Those who close down the universities are the ones who can determined whether to open them or not. As we are going back to work, the government is not taking to us. We did not institute the case at the industrial court, some people took us there and we have done the necessary of exercising our right to appeal,” he said.
But when the appellate court heard the matter, Osodeke said no date has been fixed yet.
Congress of University Academics (CONUA) Said we are ready to work
Meanwhile, the Congress of University Academics, CONUA, another academic staff union in the university system seeking signing-up, has said its members are ready to resume duty.
The National Coordinator, Dr Niyi Sunmonu, told our newshound that his members were never on strike.
“We did not go on strike in the first instance and we were working until the administrator of managements of the universities close down the institutions. For instance, some of our members, including me, concluded our workloads before the departure. We are only unhappy that our members were rounded up with those who went on strike and our salaries not paid,” he said.
The Non-academic Staff’s Situation
In a similar development, non-academic staff who suspended their industrial actions in August are yet to be paid their detain salaries.
Findings by Vanguard showed that though they postpone their actions for two months and later resumed work, they were last paid in March, this year.
On interview, the Chairman of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), the University of Lagos chapter, Comrade Olusola Sowunmi, said his members expected that at least a month’s salary should be paid to them for easy commuter between homes and their offices.
Also added that the development had put his members in a close corner.
SSANU, the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Allied Institutions, NASU and the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, also went on strike last March but postpone action for two months in August.
The Purpose of Strike
ASUU went on strike in March 2020 but they called it off in December of the same year.
Unfortunately, most of the demands by the union then still formed part of its current perturbation.
After the 2020 face-off, a Memorandum of Action was accredit by both parties are timelines affirmed as to meeting some demands, but the government said the scarcity of funds impede it from meeting some of the demands.
The demands of the unions include the alleged disagreements in the Merge Payroll and Personnel Information System, IPPIS, the non-payment of earned allowances, payment of outstanding debts of the National Minimum wage, the revitalization fund and the release of white papers on the visitation panel reports among others.
While ASUU has developed its preferred payment platform, the University Transparency Accountability Solution, UTAS, the two non-teaching staff unions of SSANU and NASU demanded the replacement of IPPIS with the University Odd Personnel Payroll System, U3PS.
The Federal Government through the Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, had met with the striking lecturers to resolve the impasse but all to no suffice.
This Peak in the evocation of the “No work, no pay” new policy by the government and the dragging of the striking workers to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria, NICN.