The Academic Staff Union of Universities’ leadership has rejected what it called a “award” wage package that was provided to it at the resumed meeting between the federal government and ASUU regarding the union’s ongoing strike action.
The main justification provided by the federal government for the meager offer, shortage of revenue, was strongly criticized by ASUU as being unjustifiable.
In a statement released on Thursday in Abuja, ASUU President Professor Emmanuel Osodeke pushed for the implementation of the University Salary Structure, a unique pay structure for university employees (USS).
He said: “At the resumed meeting of the Federal Government of Nigeria (FGN) and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) 2009 agreement re-negotiation committee, on Tuesday, 16th August 2022, the government team presented an “Award” of a Recommended Consolidated University Academic Salary Structure (CONUASS) prepared by the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC) to ASUU.
“ASUU firmly rejected and still rejects the ‘Award’,” he said.
The head of ASUU indicated that the new draft agreement contains additional significant recommendations for financing key elements of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, one of which is the tax on cellphones and communication lines.
He claims that the federal government forced ASUU to continue its strike action and has supported it in doing so because to its provocative apathy, claiming that the renegotiation of the 2009 agreement between March 2017 and June 2022 was done so in bad faith.
“This is because of several reasons chief of which is poor management of the economy. This has given rise to leakages in the revenue of governments at all levels. There is wasteful spending, misappropriation of funds, and outright stealing of our collective patrimony. ASUU believes that if the leakages in the management of the country’s resources are stopped, there will be more than enough to meet the nation’s revenue and expenditure targets without borrowing and plunging the country into a debt crisis as is the case now.
“The new draft agreement has other major recommendations for the funding of major components of the renegotiated 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement.
“Our prayer: Where there is a will, there will be a way. The federal government, through the ministry of education, should return to the new draft agreement of the 2009 FGN/ASUU renegotiation committee whose work spanned a total of five and half years as a demonstration of good faith,” he said.