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In lieu of the controversial half-salary saga which the Federal Government of Nigeria and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) had gotten themselves embroiled in, the ASUU has finally ended its National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting with a resolution not to embark on another strike action.
The union, however, openly condemned the attempt by the Federal Government to turn the academics into casual workers through the so-called ‘pro-rata’ payment for 18 days.
In a press statement on Tuesday after the end of the NEC meeting, the ASUU national president, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke had also noted that the University teachers are intellectuals and not casual workers.
He said the Union suspended its eight-month strike on October 14, 2022 in obedience to the order of the National Industrial Court and in further consideration of intervention efforts of well-meaning Nigerians, including the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.
Osodeke had also noted that 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.
The ASUU president, however, lamented the response of the government through the so-called ‘pro-rata’ payment for 18-day as the October 2022 salaries of the academics.
He said, “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 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 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.
“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.”
The ASUU NEC, therefore, appealed for the understanding of 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.