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ASUU threatens strike over unreviewed salaries

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ASUU threatens strike over unreviewed salaries

The Benin Zone of the Academic Staff Union of Universities has decried the non-review of members’ salaries after the last exercise that took place 15 years ago.

Speaking at a press conference in Benin on Wednesday, June 19, the coordinator, Benin Zone of ASUU, Prof. Monday Igbafen, said the government at all levels has been reviewing other workers’ salaries while leaving the lecturers salaries the same since when the value of naira to a dollar was N120.

He said, “University teachers in Nigeria have been on the same salary regime since 2009 when the value of naira to a dollar was N120, and salaries in other sectors have been reviewed twice or more.

“It is better imagined that what a Professor earns in today’s Nigeria is about $400 per month which is a scandalous undervaluation of scholars.

“To continue to remain on the same salary regime for 15 years without review is not only wicked and inhuman but also an invitation to resistance/industrial disharmony,” Igbafen said.

Listing the union’s demands, which, he said the Federal Government has refused to meet, Igbafen, explained that they have been pushed to the wall, and may likely embark on industrial action.

“Having been irked by the obvious lack of sincerity on the part of federal and state governments to address the issues which have worsened the living and working conditions of academic staff in the public universities, it is sad to note that barely a month after we engage with the press in DELSU, there is refusal and/or total neglect of our union’s demands and ultimatum by the government.

“This disposition of government is certainly not a good recipe for the impending paralysis in Nigeria’s public universities.

“It is imperative to point out that the nagging issues between the government and our union in reference revolve around the abysmal failure by the government to satisfactorily implement the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement.”

The resulting issues, Igbafen continued, “have been the source of the seemingly unending confrontation between us as a union and the government.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the issues include the stalled renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement; funding for the revitalization of public universities based on the FGN-ASUU MoU of 2021, 2013, and the MoA of 2017; the illegal dissolution of Governing Councils in federal and state universities; withheld salaries in federal and state universities; unpaid salaries of staff on sabbatical, adjunct, etc. due to IPPIS; the non-release of third-party deductions; non-payment of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA); proliferation of public universities; non-implementation of the reports of Visitation Panels and the refusal to adopt UTAS in place of IPPIS.

“It is not only sad but also provocative that the government as we speak is not moved by the several clarion calls and efforts by our union to get it to attend to these issues.

“By its action to ignore the union on these contending issues, the government is begging our union to proceed on strike.”

He also condemned the illegal dissolution of the governing councils of public universities in the country, as well as the refusal or neglect by some state governments to constitute governing councils for their universities.

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