The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASSU) may join the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) In the ongoing industrial action. They have a serious issue with the federal government.
The Owerri Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Prof Uzo Onyebinama, disclosed this at a press conference at the Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Anambra State.
While debunking claim that the strike was sponsored by the opposition parties, Onyebinama said the reason of ASUU strike was as a result of the Federal Government’s inability to fulfill the 2009 agreement with the union on the welfare of its members.
His statement read in part, “You will recall that the 2009 FGN —ASUU Agreement made provision for the re-negotiation of the Agreement every three (3) years.
“Consequently, the first renegotiation of the Agreement should have been in 2012. This was not to be. The first renegotiation of the Agreement commenced in March 2017.
“As we speak now, the renegotiation exercise has broken down since May 2018 (after 14months), due largely to the deliberate tactics adopted by the leader of the Government Team, Dr. Wale Babalakin, to scuttle the renegotiation, by jettisoning the principle of collective bargaining and the gains of previous agreements, memorandum of understanding and memorandum of action.
“In addition, the government team insisted that education ought to be funded from ‘diverse sources’ and consequently proposed the establishment of an Education Bank and a Students’ Loan Scheme.”
The Union urged the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, provide a platform for the leadership of ASUU to engage State Governors on issues of proliferation of universities, underfunding of state universities, undue interference in the administration of state universities, and the non-implementation of various components of the 2009 Agreement in many state universities.
The union said it would be left with no other choice than to embark on an industrial action if the contentious issues were not resolved.