The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has rejected the salary award offer from the federal government saying it came across in a manner of take-it-or-leave-it, and on a sheet of paper.
“No serious country in the world treats their scholars this way, Emmanuel Osokede, ASUU president said in a statement on Thursday.
While describing the offer as miserly, the president said the federal government did not follow the principle of collective bargaining to arrange at the salary structure for lecturers. The presentation of the salary award was an outcome of the highly anticipated meeting the union had with the 2009 renegotiation committee of the federal government on Tuesday in Abuja. Osodeke said 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”. The separate salary structures in all FGN/ASUU Agreements were usually the outcome of Collective Bargaining processes,” he said.
“Government’s surreptitious move to set aside the principle of collective bargaining, which is globally in practice, has the potential of damaging lecturers’ psyche and destroying commitment to the university system. This is, no doubt, injurious to Nigeria’s aspiration to become an active player in the global knowledge industry.
FGN’s repudiation of collective bargaining is in bad faith. It is a retrogressive step for a democratic government to abrogate the collective bargaining principle after more than forty years of its introduction into the Nigerian University System. Over the years, particularly since 1992, the Union has always argued for and negotiated a separate salary structure for academics for obvious reasons. ASUU does not accept any awarded salary as was the case in the administration of General Abdulsalam Abubakar,” ten president further said.
According to him, government imposed the ongoing strike action on ASUU and it has encouraged it to linger because of its provocative indifference. The president further said government’s statement of paucity of revenue, is not tenable.
“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 fund 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 president said.