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ASUU's decision to close universities has caused anxiety

 


The Academic Staff Union of Staff Universities, or ASUU, has resumed hostilities with the

Federal Government less than one month after ending its 8-month strike. 

According to ONIKEWIDE , the National Executive Council of the ASUU is already scheduled to meet on Monday (tomorrow) to decide whether to call another strike or not.

The meeting, which is scheduled to take place on the campus of the University of Abuja, follows the October salary reduction that union members experienced just weeks after the protracted industrial action was put on hold. 

According to ONIKEWIDE, ASUU closed both State and Federal government-owned colleges on February 14, 2023, in protest of earlier agreements that the government had neglected to put into effect.

After what he described as "failed negotiations," the Minister of Labor and Employment, Chris Ngige, brought the lecturers on strike before the National Industrial Court. 

On September 21, the court issued an order requiring ASUU to end its strike and return to work right away.

ASUU quickly filed an appeal of the decision, but the Appeal Court likewise issued a similar ruling, directing the teachers on strike to resume their academic duties as specified in the earlier decision. 

Finally, the strike was called off on October 14, 2022.

In an effort to get the union back to work, the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari committed to uphold its No Work, No Pay policy during the strike. 

However, after Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, Speaker of the House of Representatives, intervened, it was reported that the FG had agreed to drop the policy and make good on the arrears. 

However, earlier in the week, lecturers received their October half-salaries, a fact that could trigger another labor dispute between the FG and the union.

A member of the NEC, who spoke to DAILY POST on the condition of anonymity, said nothing would stop the union from embarking on another strike, stressing that their earlier agreement had been breached.

He said, “We are meeting on Monday to decide on the Federal Government’s move. I don’t think there will be anything that can stop the union from going on fresh strike. Agreement is agreement”.

Professor Emmanuel Osodeke confirmed the NEC meeting when contacted by ONIKEWIDE , the ASUU President, but would not provide the date. 

Professor Osodeke responded simply when asked if the union intended to go on another strike: "We have protocols, we will meet shortly, and whatever the decision, we will let you know."

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