BusinessDay

ASUU strike: payment of arrears not our core demand – Dele Ashiru

Dele Ashiru, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) chairman of the University of Lagos (UNILAG) chapter has maintained that the union will not resume work notwithstanding the federal government’s payment of minimum wage arrears.

Ashiru clarifying further on a circular titled, ‘payment of minimum wage arrears’ to the UNILAG members of ASUU over the weekend confirmed the authenticity of the circular.

However, the senior lecturer described the arrears payment as “long-overdue”, stating that the core demands of ASUU have not been met.

“The leadership of our branch has been inundated with calls concerning the recent payment of the long-overdue arrears of the consequential adjustment of the minimum wage.

“Our members are reminded that this is not one of the core demands upon which the ongoing strike action is premised.

“For the avoidance of doubt, the demands of our union are the conclusion of the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, abrogation of the fraudulent and corrupt IPPIS scheme and the deployment of UTAS, payment of promotion arrears, the proliferation of state universities and governance issues amongst others.

Read also: Why ASUU strike may soon end – Lecturers

“While our union welcomes this unsolicited payment, our members should please conserve the funds and spend wisely so as to energise our struggle until all our demands are satisfactorily met.

Our union commends the resolve and sacrifice of our members in enthroning a university system that is globally competitive.

“United we bargain! Divided we beg! A people united can never be defeated. Solidarity forever,” the statement read in part.

Other demands of the union are earned academic allowances, state universities, promotion arrears, withheld salaries, and non-remittance of third-party deductions.

Recall that the lecturers union on Monday, February 14, had embarked on a 30-day warning strike, which was rolled over on March 14 after the warning strike elapsed, and is now on 12 weeks extended strike following the federal government’s inability to meet the union’s demands.

Emmanuel Osodeke, the national president of ASUU, stated then that the decision was taken after the union’s National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting.

Osodeke said since the last meeting the union had with the federal government in December 2021, it had not received any formal invitation from the government.

The university don reiterated that the strike continues over the government’s failure to “satisfactorily” implement the Memorandum of Action it signed with the union in December 2020 on funding for revitalisation of public universities (both federal and state), renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU agreement and the deployment of the UTAS, among others.

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