ASUU not aware of FG’s 23.5% salary increase – Ashiru
Dele Ashiru, the University of Lagos (UNILAG’s) chapter chairman of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has disclosed that the union was not aware of the alleged federal government’s planned increment of members’ salaries by 23.5 percent.
Ashiru in a chat with BusinessDay on Wednesday, September 7 said the federal government did not carry ASUU along in that decision as none of the union’s leadership was in attendance at the meeting where such was agreed on.
“The federal government should come to the negotiation table if they want to resolve the impasse,” he said.
Similarly, Ifeanyi Abada, the ASUU chapter chairman at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka in Enugu State told BusinessDay that the union heard about the increase on the pages of newspapers just like every other Nigerian.
The university don said he did not know what the federal government considered before arriving at such a conclusion, however, he expressed delight in the fact that the government is now talking.
“It is good that they are now talking. If they are ready, we can now discuss and arrive at an acceptable agreement. ASUU is not fighting the government and is always willing to go back to the classroom, but we must agree on terms. ASUU is waiting to get the outcome of the new committee set by the federal government,” he said.
Recall that on Tuesday, September 6, 2022 Adamu Adamu, the minister of education announced that the federal government can only afford a 23.5 percent salary increase for lecturers.
Adamu revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari had warned against signing agreements with ASUU which the government will not be able to meet.
“The federal government can only afford a 23.5 percent salary increase for all categories of the workforce in federal universities, except for the professorial cadre which will enjoy a 35 percent upward review.
“Henceforth, allowances that pertain to ad-hoc duties of the academic and non-academic staff shall be paid as at when due by the governing councils of universities to which such services are rendered and to the staff who perform them,” he said.
Meanwhile, the federal government has constituted another 14-man committee to look into the demands of ASUU) and other university-based staff unions.
The new committee which will be chaired by the minister of education, Adamu Adamu, will revisit the recommendations of the Briggs’ Committee in charge of the renegotiation of the 2009 agreement.
The minister explained that the committee will look into the additional demands of ASUU, particularly in the areas where there has not been consensus. He mentioned two major areas of contention: ‘no work no pay’ and the remuneration of university lecturers.
Furthermore, he reiterated that the new committee will not abandon the Briggs’ Committee, but will follow up on what the committee has done so far.
ASUU has been on strike since February 14 when the union issued a 30-day warning strike notice to allow the federal government to address its demands, and the failure of the government to reach an agreement with the lecturers has made the impasse last this long.