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

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has insisted on negotiating the salary of its members with the Tinubu-led administration, thereby, rejecting the N35,000 wage award.

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

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

Osodeke stated that the union had agreed that whatever was legally sent to members’ accounts should be spent but not to be taken as the negotiated salary.

“We told them we should negotiate our wage, 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 said.

He identified the renegotiation of the existing agreement, payment of withheld salaries, earned academic allowance and release of the Needs Assessment Funds as some of the pending issues with the Federal Government.

While commending the UI ASUU branch for the edifice it built using the expertise of its members, Osodeke decried the use of external or foreign consultants to handle projects in the country.

He said the government should rather hire experts within the country, especially from within Nigerian universities as consultants.

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

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

The UI ASUU Chairman, Prof. Ayo Akinwole, said the secretariat was built without donations from external people or bodies.

He commended members of the union who gave in cash and kind to see to its completion.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the inauguration had a session, titled, “Challenging NeoLiberal Narrative in Nigeria’s Education Sector: ASUU’s 2022 Strike and Matters Arising”.

Speaking on the theme, Akinwole, said the impact of neoliberalism on education was complex and multifaceted.

He noted that the lecture was appropriate “at this period in our nation’s march toward self-reliance and independence in the right sense of the word.

“Expectedly, the lecture beams light on the way forward in continued relevance for scholars and all concerned leaders of the progressive movement in Nigeria.”

A Professor of Botany, Odoje Biodiversity Centre, Ogbomoso, Prof. Omotoye Olorode, spoke on the foundationality of the neoliberal narrative as expressed in the Nigerian ruling class response to ASUU’s strike.

He said, “ASUU’s struggles arise out of the necessity to build a country in which every citizen shall be free, educated, well fed and healthy.

“We cannot abandon these struggles and yet be worthy of being called ‘intellectuals’.

“This is where we stand. This is where we ought to stand.”

NAN reports that the union’s building at Olajuwon Olayide Extension, Ajibode, University of Ibadan, has a secretariat building, scholars’ chalets as well as other modern facilities. 

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