The Academic Staff Union of Universities has criticized the Federal Government over the payment of half salaries to lecturers for the month of October.
The Federal Government had paid the embattled lecturers “half” of one month’s salary in October.
On its part, the Federal Government had justified its action, explaining that the lecturers were paid based on the number of days they worked in the month of October.
But reacting on Tuesday, Emmanuel Osodeke, ASUU president, said its members are not casual workers and should not be treated as such.
Osodeke described the action of the government as “an aberration” and a contravention of their rules of engagement.
He said the union’s national executive committee “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 Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) suspended its eight-month strike on 14th October, 2022, in obedience to the order of the National Industrial Court and in further consideration of intervention efforts of well-meaning Nigerians, including the Honourable Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila,” he said in a statement.
“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 the 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 contracts of employment for academics the world over.”
Osodeke commended the lecturers for their “perseverance” and urged students and their parents to be understanding while ASUU pursues a resolution within the ambit of the law.
He said at an emergency meeting of the ASUU’s NEC which was held on Monday, the union deliberated on developments since the suspension of the strike.