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‘We’re not casual workers!’ FG continues to provoke ASUU, disrespect Nigerian lecturers

screenshot 2022 11 08 at 14 35 27 asuu chairman emmanuel osodeke and president muhammadu buhari 687x400 1 1 687x375.webp (webp image 687 × 375 pixels)


‘We’re not casual workers!’ FG continues to provoke ASUU, disrespect Nigerian lecturers

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, has noted with dismay in a strongly worded memo the unprofessional tactics of the federal government at resolving the faceoff between the union and the latter over the recently called off industrial action embarked upon by the body.

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Recall that on Oct 14, 2022, ASUU conditionally suspended its eight-month-old industrial action.

The strike, which rendered most Nigerian students idle since February of this year, was called off when the Court of Appeal ordered the union to do so.

In a release seen by Freelanews and signed by its president, Emmanuel Osodeke, ASUU frowned at the payment of half salary in October and the attempt of the federal government to turn intellectuals into casual workers.

“The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) suspended its eight-month strike on 14th of October, 2022, in obedience to the order of the National Industrial Court and in further consideration of intervention efforts of well-meaning Nigerians, (Femi) Gbajabiamila. The action of the Union was a display of manifest trust in the judiciary and other institutions and organs of government to always put national interest above all other considerations. This we believe, as a union of thinkers, intellectuals, and patriots, will not only aid the process of amicable resolution of the crisis, but will also set the tone for smooth industrial relations between government and Nigerian workers at large.

“Unfortunately, the response of government towards ASUU’s demonstration of trust was the so-called pro-rata payment for eighteen days as at the October 2022 salaries of academics thereby portraying them as daily paid workers! This is not only an aberration, but a contravention of all known rules of engagement in any contract of employment for academics the world’s over.

“At an emergency meeting of the ASUU’s National Executive Committee, NEC, held on Monday, 7th November, 2022, the union deliberated on developments since the suspension of the strike. NEC noted with dismay that paying academics on “pro-rata” basis, like casual workers, is unprecedented in the history of university-oriented labour relations and therefore condemned this attempt to reduce Nigerian scholars to casual workers in its entirety,” the president stated.

Osodeke, however, commended its members for their steadfastness and perseverance, while seeking the understanding of the Nigerian students.

“NEC commends the membership of ASUU for their perseverance in the face of untold hardship and unwarranted provocation by some notorious agents of the ruling class. NEC further appeals for the understanding of the Nigerian students, parents and other genuinely concerned individuals and groups while the union continues to pursue positive resolution of this avoidable crisis within the ambit of legality without compromising the interests and welfare of Nigerian intellectuals,” he concluded.

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Ojelabi, the publisher of Freelanews, is a professionally trained mass communicator, who writes ruthlessly about pop culture, religion, politics and entertainment.

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