ASUU rejects FG’s N35,000 wage award, insists on negotiated salary for members

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has maintained its stance on negotiating its members’ salaries directly with the Bola Tinubu-led administration, rejecting the N35,000 wage award.

 

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ASUU National President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, stated this during the inauguration of the University of Ibadan (UI) branch secretariat of ASUU in Ibadan on Thursday.

 

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Osodeke stated that the union agreed that members should use whatever amount is legally deposited in their accounts, but clarified that this should not be considered their negotiated salary.

 

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He said, “We told them we should negotiate our wages, but they said we are giving you an award of N35,000. We have told them that it is not our own. We are still insisting that there has to be negotiated salary,”

 

He highlighted several unresolved issues with the Federal Government, including the renegotiation of the existing agreement, payment of withheld salaries, earned academic allowances, and the release of the Needs Assessment Funds.

Nigerian university inaugurates first vaccine centre in Enugu to combat endemic diseases.

 

While praising the UI ASUU branch for the building they constructed using the expertise of their members, Osodeke criticized the practice of using external or foreign consultants for projects in the country.

He emphasized that the government should instead hire local experts, particularly those within Nigerian universities, as consultants.

 

Earlier, the Vice-Chancellor of UI, Prof. Kayode Adebowale, represented by the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation, and Strategic Partnership, Prof. Yemisi Bamgbose, praised the union.

Adebowale stated that the secretariat would become a hub for intellectual discussion, collaboration, and solidarity among union members “as it continues to strive for a better future for our universities and our nation.”

UI ASUU Chairman, Prof. Ayo Akinwole, said that the secretariat was built without external donations. He acknowledged the union members who contributed financially and in kind to ensure its completion.

Following the removal of fuel subsidy in June 2023 and the subsequent hike the price of goods and services notably food and transport, President Tinubu on Independence Day in 2023 announced a N35,000 wage award for civil servants pending when a substantive minimum wage is negotiated and approved. This was in response to protests and other industrial actions by organised labour groups across the country.

READ ALSO: ASUU UniAbuja begins indefinite strike

 

 

Furthermore, the Federal Government in January 2024 inaugurated the tripartite minimum wage committee comprising of members of the public sector at both federal and state levels and the private sector to negotiate a new minimum wage for workers in the light of current economic realities.

President Tinubu on Workers’ Day approved a 25% to 35% wage award for federal civil servants pending when a new minimum wage is agreed upon. He also encouraged states’ governments to key into the initiative.

ASUU has engaged in a running battle with the Federal Government over issues relating to funding of universities, salaries, and autonomy of tertiary institutions.

 

 

 

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