Indications have emerged that academic activities across Nigerian Universities may soon paralyze as the leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is planning to hold its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting.
The NEC, which is the highest decision making body of the union, is to review Federal government’s implementation of the Memorandum of Action (MoA) it signed with the union before it suspended its strike a few months ago.
This is just as three non-academic unions in the university have also declared their interest for a fresh strike over the non-implementation of agreements reached with the Federal Government.
The Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU), National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) are slated to meet next Tuesday to pick a date for the industrial action, Nigerian Guardian reports.
The unions declared that it is unfazed by the by government’s plan to implement its ‘no work, no pay’ policy when the strike eventually begins.
Speaking on behalf of the unions, President of SSANU, Samson Ugwoke, lamented that the government had failed to implement all the agreements it entered into with the unions to call off an earlier strike.
His words: “We have issues like Earned Allowances, short falls in salary, staff schools’ matter, non-implementation of the judgment of the National Industrial Court which we got against the Federal Government to recall all teachers among others.
“From January to September, the Federal Government did not do anything as regards the MoU (Memorandum of Understanding) signed in January and that necessitated our second strike which was indefinite.
“We entered into an MoU on salary shortfalls, a development that has never happened before in the university system where staff are paid fractional salaries.
“We objected to that and the Federal Government promised us the money. Information reaching me shows that up till now, not all the universities have received the shortfall.”
Meanwhile, it is understood that in September, the federal government and ASUU had signed an agreement, as a result of the strike action embarked upon by the union to press for the implementation of the memorandum of understanding it entered into between both parties in 2013 as well as the 2009 agreement.
During the signing of the agreement, a timeline of October 2017 was reached between both parties for the implementation of some components of the agreement, especially the payment of shortfall in salaries and Earned Academic Allowances.
However, as of November 2017, investigations showed that the government was yet to implement issuance of license for the registration of Nigerian University Pension Company (NUPEMCO), which it promised to do within two weeks of strike suspension.
The FG is also defaulting in payment of ‘Earned Academic Allowances and revatilisation funds’ for public universities.
Daily Post reports that some lecturers at the University of Ibadan, who spoke with journalists on the condition of anonymity, last weekend, noted that it was unfortunate that the government had not paid as promised by end of October.
They said they had asked their leadership not to suspend the strike until the government paid the money as promised but didn’t heed their advice.
Based on the tension generated on campuses, ASUU President Professor Biodun Ogunyemi sent a mail to all the members to douse the tension over the payment of earned academic allowances
“Dear Comrades, the leadership of the union is aware of the palpable tensions on our campuses over the delay in the payment of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA).
“It is therefore not a surprise that for the past three days, a circular dated 24 October, 2017 related to EAA is already trending on some social media network/platforms. The leadership of the union can say categorically that the gaps/Omissions in the said circular were addressed at a meeting with the Honourable Minister of Education last weekend. We have gone far on the matter and there should be results in a matter of days. Thank you”, he wrote.