Abia teachers reject FG . salary proposal

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike, Abia State, says it rejects the salary proposed by the federal government.

In a statement issued by the body on Thursday evening and signed by the chairman, MC Ugwuene and the secretary, PO Nwiyi, they said the decision was based on the “re rejection by the government of the collective agreement on August 16 by the federal government/ASUU renegotiation committee chaired by Prof. Nimi-Briggs, who presented at its meeting a recommended consolidated academic salary structure, granting increases of 35% and 25% of the current salary, respectively, to professors and other ranks.

“This award has been prepared by the National Salaries, Income and Wage Commission.”

“The crux of this matter is that the award is unilateral and a total violation of the provisions of all national and international law on which the collective bargaining agreement is based.

“The renegotiation process is expected to have input from both the government and ASUU teams, as required by the Trade Dispute Act of 1976, ILO Conventions 49 of 1948, 91 of 1950, 154 of 1988 and Recommendation 153 of 1981, as well as the 1974 Udoji Commission Report; and the 1981 Cookey Commission Report for Resolving Issues Concerning Salaries and Conditions of Service of University Personnel and Funding, etc.”

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It is on this basis that the Union, in a press release dated August 18, 2022, rejected the government’s unilateral award of salary, stating “A. Negotiated salary is a right, a salary awarded is potentially arbitrary. The award is stingy.”

“It is clear from the foregoing that the government has not addressed any of the issues that ASUU has gone on strike for, including salary.”

“The government, despite acknowledging in various forums the superiority of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution for managing the university’s personnel costs, has still not made a specific statement regarding its adoption for this purpose.

“The government also pledged to issue the Visitation Panel White Paper to the respective universities between now and next year (2023). By then, it would be more than two years from the start of the visitation. One wonders what the government’s true motive is for refusing to release the Visitation Panel White Papers,” the statement said.

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“In light of the foregoing, ASUU-MOUAU hereby informs the public that the government has not addressed any of the issues underlying the strike. Not even one.

“Not even the things that have no financial implications, such as a commitment to adopt UTAS, and the publication of the Visitation Panel White Paper at the respective universities. Isn’t the government’s unwillingness to address these “non-financial” issues a sign of bad faith? The Minister of Education’s public appeal to students to sue their teachers is a Freudian slip.”

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