The payment of half wage for the month of October has been criticized by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), who see it as an effort to turn Nigerian scholars into temporary employees.
This is stated in a statement made by Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, the National President of ASUU, in Abuja on Tuesday following the emergency meeting of the ASUU National Executive Committee (NEC).
According to Osodeke, the union discussed changes that have occurred since the strike was called off, and NEC remarked with shock that compensating academics on a “pro-rata” basis, like temporary workers, is a first in the history of university-focused labor relations.
”Payment for 18 days as the October 2022 salaries of academics is unacceptable thereby portraying us as daily paid workers.
“This is not only an aberration, but a contravention of all known rules of engagement in any contract of employment for academics the world over,” he said.
He said that on Monday, November 7, 2022, the ASUU’s National Executive Committee (NEC) conducted a special meeting to discuss developments after the strike’s suspension.
He claimed that the so-called “pro-rata” payment for eighteen days as the academics’ October 2022 salary was the response of the government to ASUU’s demonstration of faith following the termination of its strike on October 14.
Osodeke emphasizes that the government’s behavior was not just an outlier but also a violation of all recognized standards of engagement in any contract of employment for academics elsewhere in the world, explaining that it gave the impression that they were daily paid workers.
This was said in a statement that Mr. Olajide Oshundun, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment’s Head of Press and Public Relations, signed on Saturday in Abuja.
According to Oshundun, the ministry was responding to reports about allegedly giving ASUU members a reduced income and engaging in selective treatment.
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He characterized both reports as flagrantly false, deceptive, and factually false.
He pointed out that, contrary to what was widely reported in the media, ASUU members received their full October wage, not just half of it.
He claimed that pro-rata was used because employees cannot be paid for work that is not completed.
Additionally, he said that Sen. Chris Ngige, the minister of labor and employment, never gave the Accountant General of the Federation instructions to pay university teachers at half wage.
“Following the ruling of the Court of Appeal, which upheld the order of the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN), asking ASUU to go back to work, the leadership of the union wrote to the Minister, informing him that they have suspended the strike.
“The Federal Ministry of Education wrote to Ngige in a similar vein and our labour inspectors in various states also confirmed that they have resumed work.
“So, the minister wrote to the Federal Ministry of Finance, Budget and Planning, directing that their salaries should be restored.
“They were paid pro-rata according to the number of days they worked in October,’’ he said.
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