The Academic Staff Union of Universities has decided that it will not embark on another strike over its salary cut but instead engage in peaceful consultation.
In a statement made available to The PUNCH on Tuesday after the National Executive Council meeting and signed by ASUU’s President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, the union said it would continue to pursue a positive resolution of the avoidable crisis within the ambit of legality without compromising the interests and welfare of Nigerian intellectuals.
Some members of the union also confirmed to our correspondent that it would not go on strike for now.
In the statement, Osodeke also appealed for the understanding of Nigerian students, parents, and other genuinely concerned individuals and groups.
The statement partly read, “At an emergency meeting of the ASUU’s National Executive Committee, held on Monday, November 7, 2022, the union deliberated on developments since the suspension of the strike. NEC noted with dismay that paying academics on a “pro-rata” basis, like casual workers, is unprecedented in the history of university-oriented labour relations and therefore condemned this attempt to reduce Nigerian scholars to casual workers in its entirety.”
He added that the NEC commended the membership of ASUU for their perseverance in the face of untold hardship and unwarranted provocation by some notorious agents of the ruling class.
However, investigations by our correspondents showed that ASUU chose to keep mum on the possibility of another because the matter was still in the court.
A source within the NEC of ASUU explained to our correspondent that the union consulted with its legal counsel who encouraged the body to wait for the decision of the court.
“You know the case is still in court, we have not been called back yet. The previous strike was suspended based on court order, if we decide to go on strike, the minister may use that opportunity to say they want to proscribe ASUU. There are lots of court cases on ground already. We need the court to settle it once and for all. Our hands are tied. Only the court can rule. The minister knows this and that is why he is acting this way.”
All branches to meet this week
Due to the half salary crisis that led to the emergency meeting of ASUU-NEC, all branches of the union will be meeting on different days throughout this week to brief their members.
The ASUU Chairman, Obafemi Awolowo University, Dr. Adeola Egbedokun, stated that the ASUU OAU branch would meet on Wednesday for its branch congress to analyse and discuss the resolutions of the NEC meeting.
Similarly, a member of ASUU University of Lagos, Prof. Poju Tejumaiye, told our correspondent that the UNILAG branch would meet on Thursday.
“There won’t be strike action. Everybody is trying to avoid the foolishness of Ngige. We don’t want to play into his hands. We will continue with our lectures while consultation also continues. Because of Gbajabiamila, we will wait for the father of the nation to respond, but I know my people won’t wait endlessly,” he said.