Lecturers Yet to be paid, ASUU Hints On Possible Strike ( see reasons)
University lecturers on Friday returned to work after the Academic Staff Union of Universities suspended its eight-month strike.
However, findings by Saturday YOMSDIRECT revealed that the academics had yet to get the assent of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) regarding the plan for a new agreement and the no-work-no-pay policy.
It was also learnt that the duty of paying earned academic allowances would from 2024 be the responsibility of the governing councils of the universities.
The union suspended the protracted strike which began on February 14 after an emergency meeting of its National Executive Council held at the Comrade Festus Iyayi National Secretariat, University of Abuja, Abuja, on Thursday.
But, in a press statement made available to Saturday YOMSDIRECT, it noted that the issues in its dispute with the Federal Government, including the demand for an improvement in the welfare of its members, had yet to be well addressed.
ASUU, in the statement, which was signed by its National President, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, also commended the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, for his interventions.
“The National Industrial Court in its wisdom gave an order compelling ASUU to resume work pending the determination of the substantive suit. Given the nature of the order, and in the opinion of our counsel, there was the need to appeal the interlocutory injunction granted against our union at the Court of Appeal.
“The Court of Appeal acknowledged the validity of the grounds of the union’s appeal but still upheld the order of the lower court and ordered our union to comply with the ruling of the lower court as a condition precedent for the appeal to be heard.
“While appreciating the commendable efforts of the leadership of the House of Representatives and other patriotic Nigerians who waded into the matter, NEC noted with regrets that the issues in dispute are yet to be satisfactorily addressed.”
Speaking with one of our correspondents in Abuja under the condition of anonymity, a highly respected member of the National Executive Council of the union expressed displeasure that the lecturers were compelled by the court order to resume amid pending issues.
“We only resumed because of the court order. Yes, the Speaker intervened but to be honest, we haven’t got the green light from the President (Buhari). (On) the issue of earned allowances, no sharing modality has been cemented; the no-work-no-pay policy has not been resolved. The condition of service has not been agreed upon. Though the Speaker suggested that the model used for lecturers at Rivers State University, where professors earn more than N1 million a month be used, the President has yet to say a word.
“For the earned allowances, the last one the government will pay will be 2023. Afterward, the governing councils will be responsible for earned allowances from 2024. I also assume that you know that the issue of UTAS has not really been cemented; all they said was that IPPIS will be modified to accommodate UTAS,” the NEC member said.