From Adanna Nnamani, Abuja
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has asked other non-academic university unions contending the sharing formula for the 22.127 billion approved Earned Allowances for universities to go and struggle for a bigger allocation for their members.
The union president, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, in a phone conversation with Daily Sun, stated that 17 billion naira from the money approved belongs to ASUU as negotiated by the union and agreed with the Federal Government.
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He noted that the money, among other demands, were yet to be implemented by the Federal Government, hence the looming industrial action of which the union has issued a three weeks warning notice.
‘The Federal Government has not released the money. Although the 22.127 billion Earned Allowances is not our major problem. Our major problem is that the Federal Government has refused to implement what it agreed to do.
‘Also, what ASUU is getting is not shared, it is what is due to ASUU. It is not a shared allowance. we are not sharing with anybody. What we have for our members is what we calculated and the government is paying what is due for our members. So, they should go and struggle for their own members if what is given to them is not what they negotiated. They should go to the government and say “What you give us is not what we negotiated.” They should not be comparing whatever is given to them to what ASUU is getting for its members.
‘Our own money is about 17 billion naira from the money. If they believe that what they gave them is not enough, they should go to the government and say “What you gave us is not enough.” Don’t say what is going to ASUU is too much. Unionism is not practiced that way.
‘Union A does not negotiate with Union B and you don’t share. They should take their share to the government and let them give them whatever they want. Don’t talk about what is due to ASUU members. It is called cowardice approach of running unionism.’
Recall that the sharing procedure for the approved N22.127 billion for payment of Earned Allowances for university staff struck conflict among the various university Unions in the nation as some have rejected the formula, labeling it as lopsided and biased.
Out of the amount approved, Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is to take 75 percent of the total sum, while the other three Unions will share the remaining 25 per cent among themselves.
The three unions are the Non-Academic Staff Union of Education and Associated Institutions (NASU), the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU,) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT).
The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of NASU and SSANU, had earlier called for an immediate suspension of disbursement of the funds and reversal of the sharing formula.
The unions described the template for sharing the fund as ‘brazen injustice, appalling and inhumane’.
They also threatened distortion of industrial harmony in the public Universities and Inter-University Centres in Nigeria if the disbursement was allowed to materialise.
Also, the leadership of the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), recently called on the government to quickly reverse the sharing formula for the funds or risk pushing its members into drastic reactions of shutting down laboratories, workshops, research centers and suspending any further research across all universities.
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