Journalism of Courage

Seven-month strike: FG ambushes ASUU, hauls it before Industrial Arbitration Court

With ASUU unyielding and rejecting the  "No work, no pay" order, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment may have taken trade dispute to the Industrial Arbitration Court in Abuja.

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) may have boxed itself to a corner over the current intractable labour crisis as the Federal Government has concluded plans to take the teachers at the nation’s ivory tower to the Industrial Arbitration Court.

The dispute with the federal government which has shut down federal and state universities for more than seven months is to be settled by the Industrial Court sometime next week as the government has filed a case against ASUU.

Persecondnews recalls that ASUU had on February 15, 2022 embarked on strike and were later joined by the three other unions in the public universities.

Their demands include increased finding of education particularly at the tertiary level, welfare of members including salary increase, peculiar university payment platform as against IPPIS for all civil servants on the payroll of the government among others.

With ASUU unyielding and rejecting the  “No work, no pay” order, the Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment may have taken trade dispute to the Industrial Arbitration Court in Abuja.

In conformity with Section 17 of the Trade Dispute, the federal government has filed a case at the Industrial Court challenging the continued strike by ASUU, Persecondnews learnt on Saturday.

Following the stalemated negotiation on September 6 as both parties to the dispute met at the National University Commission’s office in Abuja, the federal government had said it would not sign any agreement it cannot implement.

Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, disclosed this during a meeting of Pro-Chancellors and Vice Chancellors of Federal Universities, held at the NUC’s office.

Adamu said President Muhammadu Buhari had warned the government’s team involved in the negotiation with ASUU against signing an agreement that the government would not be able to fulfil.

The minister said the government had offered the union a 23.5 per cent salary increase for all categories of the workforce in federal universities, except for the professorial cadre which will enjoy a 35 per cent upward review.

He added that the government had also promised that N150 billion would be provided for in the 2023 budget as funds for the revitalisation of federal universities, to be disbursed to the Institutions in the first quarter of the year.

Also, the government said N50 billion would be provided for in the 2023 Budget for the payment of outstanding arrears of earned academic allowances to be paid in the first quarter of the year.

In a swift reaction, ASUU and three other university-based unions rejected the offer, describing it as inadequate.

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