Academic Staff Union of Universities, Micheal Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, (ASUU-MOUAU) chapter has called on Nigerians to intervene by calling on the Federal Government to fulfill their responsibilities and to quickly restart and complete the current renegotiation, to enable students to go back to campuses.
In a statement by Michael Ugwuene, Chairman and Paul Nwiyi, Secretary of ASUU-MOUAU, the union recalled that the Federal Government/ASUU renegotiation committee chaired by Prof. Nimi-Briggs met on 16 August.
During the meeting, the government said a recommended consolidated academic salary structure
(CONUASS), which offers increases of 35 percent and 25 percent of current salaries
Professors at bar, and other ranks respectively.
“This award was prepared by the National Salaries, Incomes and Wages Commission (NSIWC). The crux of this case is that the award is one-sided and a total violation of the provisions of all national and international legislation on which the Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) is based.
“The renegotiation process is expected to have input from both the government and ASUU teams
required by the Trade Disputes Act of 1976; ILO Conventions 49 of 1948, 91 of 1950, 154 of 1988, and Recommendation 153 of 1981; as well as the Udoji Commission Report of 1974; and the Cookey Commission Report of 1981 for resolving issues of salaries and conditions of employment of university staff and funding, and other related issues.
ASUU said it was on this basis that the Union, in a statement dated August 18, rejected the unilateral award of salary by the government.
“A negotiated salary, needless to say, provides industrial harmony because the worker has made an input. A negotiated salary is a right, an awarded salary is potentially arbitrary.
ASUU said the salary award not only took into account the prevailing economic situation in the country before arriving at their decision but also left many questions unanswered.
“The answers to these questions highlight the dangers in the unilateralism of the federal government towards the time-tested and honorable CBA process of salary negotiation.
“By comparison, this award puts the salary of bar professor at a level slightly higher than that of a major but much lower than that of a lieutenant colonel in the Nigerian Army, while infinitesimally small, in compared to the current approved and much publicized monthly salary of N10,000,000.00 for the Chief Justice of the Federation”, ASUU said.