The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has revealed why its most recent meeting with the federal government was not successful.
ASUU was presented with the Consolidated University Academic Salary Structure (CONUASS) at the Tuesday meeting that resulted in a stalemate.
The union’s president, Emmanuel Osodeke, stated in a statement that the suggestion submitted to the committee led by Nimi Briggs was presented in a “take-it-or-leave-it” fashion.
The head of ASUU stated that the proposal violates the principle of collective bargaining.
“At the start of the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement on March 16, 2017, both the Federal Government and ASUU Teams agreed to be guided by the following principles as their terms of reference, which include reversing the decay in the Nigerian University System in order to reposition it for its responsibilities in national development,” the statement says.
“The government’s covert move to abandon the universally practised idea of collective bargaining has the potential to harm lecturers’ psyche and erode devotion to the university system.” This is, without a doubt, detrimental to Nigeria’s ambition to become a key player in the global knowledge industry.
“Rejecting a pay package negotiated through collective bargaining is a denial of the government’s claims about countering ‘brain drain.’”
“The renegotiation committee chaired by Munzali Jibril submitted the first draught deal in May 2021, but the government’s official reaction did not come until approximately a year later.”
“Once again, the ‘prize’ presented by the Nimi Briggs-led crew was presented on a piece of paper in a take-it-or-leave-it fashion.” No respectable country in the world handles its student scholars in this manner.
“For obvious reasons, the union has always pushed for and negotiated a separate salary structure for academics over the years, particularly after 1992.”
“ASUU does not take any issued salary, as was the case during Gen. Abdulsalam Abubakar’s regime.” Separate compensation systems were typically the result of collective bargaining processes in all FGN/ASUU agreements.”
The ASUU president claimed that the government imposed the ongoing strike and has encouraged it to continue due to “its outrageous apathy.”
He said the federal government’s main explanation for its “miserly” offer, a lack of revenue, was untenable.
“This is due to a variety of factors, the most serious of which is inadequate economic management.” This has resulted in leakages in government revenue at all levels,” Osodeke stated.
“Wasteful expenditure, misappropriation of cash, and outright theft of our communal patrimony are all prevalent.”
“ASUU thinks that if leakages in the country’s resource management are prevented, there will be more than enough to satisfy the nation’s revenue and expenditure targets without borrowing and throwing the country into a financial crisis, as is currently the case.”
“On March 16, 2017, the federal government and ASUU teams agreed to be led by some terms of reference as the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement began.”
“ASUU, on the other hand, expressed remorse that the former breached its half of the agreement’s duties.”
As a sign of good faith, the union requested that the federal government return to the draught agreement of the 2009 FGN/ASUU renegotiation group, whose work covered five and a half years.