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    Outrage as University Lecturers Get Half Salaries For Oct

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    By Abdul lawal
     
    Lecturers at University of Lagos, University of Ibadan, University of Nigeria Nsukka (UNN), Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), University of Maiduguri (UNIMAID), Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB), and other universities have being paid half salaries for October.

    The Nigerian government has insisted on implementing the No Work, No Pay policy for the period the university workers whk only resumed middle of October were away from their duty posts.
    Both the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the newly registered Congress of Nigerian Universities Academics (CONUA) have, however, kicked against the payment of half salaries to their members for October.

    The National Vice President of ASUU, Chris Piwuna, who confirmed the development, according to a report by PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday night, described the development as “insulting, humiliating and embarrassing.”
     
    ASUU Suspends 8 Month-Strike Conditionally but President went ahead determined to break ASUU, by registering CONUA, NAMDA As Alternative Unions
    The union’s chapter at the University of Lagos (UNILAG) also reportedly tweeted on Thursday evening condemning the development, even as it appealed to its members to remain calm.

    The National Coordinator of CONUA, ‘Niyi Sunmonu, also described the development as unfortunate but appealed to members that all the contradictions would be resolved.
    No work, no pay

    The Nigerian government has insisted on implementing the No Work, No Pay policy for the period the university workers were away from their duty posts.

    ASUU, which commenced its nationwide strike on 14 February, did not announce the suspension of the industrial action until the National Industrial Court (NIC) ordered its suspension. The union announced its resumption on 14 October, exactly eight months after the commencement of the action.

    The resumption was also a fallout of the union’s loss of its appeal against the resumption order by the industrial court at the Court of Appeal.

    But while announcing the resumption, the National President of the union, Emmanuel Osodeke, noted that apart from heeding the directive of the court, the decision was also out of respect for the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila who had reportedly intervened on behalf of the lecturers and pleaded with President Muhammadu Buhari to reach a middle ground with the striking lecturers over the withheld salaries.

    ASUU, however, said its demands had not been satisfactorily met as of the time it was asking its members to return to work but expressed optimism that Mr Gbajabiamila’s intervention would address the grey areas.

    ASUU UNILAG reacts

    In a short statement on its Twitter page, the chairperson, UNILAG chapter of the union, Dele Ashiru, described the development as “insensitive and disheartening”.

    He, however, appealed to the members to remain strong and united as they await further directives from the national secretariat.

    “The leadership of the union at the national level has been duly informed about this unfortunate development and they are on top of the issue,” he wrote.

    “Members are to remain calm and await further directives from the National Secretariat even in the face of this bracing provocation and crass wickedness by this administration.”

    Meanwhile, the ASUU Usmanu Danfodiyo University, (UDU), Sokoto, has accused the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, of attempts to polarise the union and create disharmony through selective and biased payment of lecturers’ salaries at the university.

    ASUU-UDUS said the minister had ordered the payment of the withheld seven months’ salaries to some of its members at the institution’s College of Health Sciences.
    Mr Ngige had claimed that the college graduated students during the period of the strike, which ASUU-UDUS debunked at the time.

    A statement from ASUU-UDUS chairperson, Muhammad Almustapha, said the union’s enquiries revealed that Mr Ngige wrote the finance ministry to pay the said staff on the basis that they worked throughout the period.

    He restated that the members were on a total and comprehensive strike throughout the industrial action.

    The statement read in part: “On Monday, 31 October 2022 the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto (ASUU UDUS) Branch received information that a segment of academic staff in the College of Health Sciences (CHS) has been paid a backlog of seven months of their withheld salary (March to September).

    “Our preliminary investigations, as to why only a section of academic staff in the university were paid, revealed that the payment was made due to a letter written to the Hon Minister of Finance instructing the exemption of some listed staff from the application of the “No work No Pay” rule.

    “The Letter was written by the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment on the 24th of October, 2022, directing the payment of withheld salary of Medical and Dental Consultants Association of Nigeria (MDCAN) of Usmanu Danfodiyo University Teaching Hospital (UDUTH) Sokoto Chapter, with the pretence that this category of staff has been working during the strike.

    “The Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment having realised that he failed in his attempt to divide the rank and file of ASUU, specifically targeting the UDUS branch for obvious mischievous reasons, has now come up with another treacherous move aimed at further dividing the union.”

    Meanwhile, in a telephone interview, the ASUU National Vice President, Mr Piwuna, a former chairman of the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA), said he received his half salary on Thursday and found the development “insulting.”

    “Since I started working in the university system, this is the most insulting, humiliating and embarrassing experience I have experienced,” Mr Piwuna said.
    He threatened that Nigerians would hear from the union very soon.
    “Yes, you will hear from us very soon,” he said.

    The National Coordinator of CONUA, Mr Sunmonu, also said the national leadership of the union was working to right the “wrong.”

    He insisted that his union was not on strike during the industrial strike embarked upon by ASUU, saying its petitions against the stoppage of its members’ salaries have been submitted at the appropriate agencies.

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