The Academic Staff Union of Universities, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, says it is rejecting the salary proposed by the Federal Government.
In a statement issued by the body, Thursday evening, and signed by the Chairperson, M. C. Ugwuene and the Secretary, P. O. Nwiyi, they said the decision was based on the “government’s repudiation of the Collectively Bargained Agreement on August 16 by the Federal Government/ASUU Renegotiation committee chaired by Prof. Nimi-Briggs, which at its meeting, the FG presented a Recommended Consolidated Academic Salary Structure, awarding increase of 35% and 25% of current salaries to professors and other ranks respectively.
“This award was prepared by the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission.”
“The crux of this matter is that the award is unilateral and a total breach of the provisions of all national and international legislations on which the Collective Bargaining Agreement is based.
“The Renegotiation process is expected to have inputs of both the government and ASUU teams as required by the Trade Dispute Act of 1976, the ILO Conventions 49 of 1948, 91 of 1950, 154 of 1988, and Recommendation 153 of 1981 as well as the Udoji Commission Report of 1974; and the Cookey Commission Report of 1981 for the resolution of issues of Salaries and Conditions of Service of University Staff and funding, etc.”
It is on this basis that the Union, in a release dated August 18, 2022, rejected the unilateral award of salary by the government, stating “A. negotiated salary is a right, an awarded salary is potentially arbitrary. The award is miserly.”
“From the foregoing, it is clear the government has not addressed any of the issues for which ASUU embarked on strike including salary.”
“The government, despite admitting at various fora, the superiority of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution for the management of university personnel cost, has still not made a specific pronouncement on its adoption for the purpose.
“Government also promised to release the Visitation Panel White Paper to the respective universities between now and next year (2023). By then, it would be more than two years from the commencement of the visitation exercise. One wonders the true motive of the government in refusing to release the Visitation Panel White Papers,” the statement said.
“In light of the foregoing, ASUU-MOUAU hereby informs members of the public that the government has not addressed any of the issues that informed the strike. Not even one.
“Not even the issues that have no financial implications like a commitment to adopt UTAS, and the release of the Visitation Panel White Paper to the respective universities. Is the reluctance of the government to address these “non-financial” issues not an exhibition of bad faith? The public call by the Minister of Education, for students to take their lecturers to court is a Freudian slip.”