The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), on Tuesday, officially reacted to the payment of half salaries by the Federal Government to members for the month of October, saying the action is not only condemnable but rejected in its entirety.
The President of ASUU, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, gave this position in a statement made available to newsmen on Tuesday.
He said ASUU suspended its eight-month industrial action on October 14 in obedience to the order of the National Industrial Court and the intervention efforts of some well-meaning Nigerians including the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.
He said the action of ASUU to suspend the strike then was a display of manifest trust in the judiciary and other institutions and organs of government to always put national interest above other considerations.
He said the union believes that such action would not only aid the process of amicable resolution of the crisis but would also set the tone for smooth industrial relations between governments and Nigerian workers at large.
Osodeke explained that the National Executive Committee of ASUU deliberated on the development of half payment of salary and other issues concerning them on Monday and concluded that paying academics on a ‘pro-rata’ basis as if they are casual workers is unprecedented in the history of university-oriented labour relations anywhere globally.
He said the union, therefore, condemned the action, seeing it as an attempt to reduce Nigerian scholars to casual workers.
He said NEC commends members of ASUU for their “perseverance in the face of untold hardship and unwarranted provocation by some notorious agents of the ruling class.”
He said while NEC further appeals for the understanding of Nigerian students, parents and other genuinely concerned individuals and groups, the union would continue to pursue positive resolutions of this avoidable crisis within the ambit of the legality without compromising the interest and welfare of Nigerian intellectuals.