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ASUU to FG: No-work-no-pay policy breaches labour law

By Chris Njoku

The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU on Monday disclosed that the Federal Government’s controversial no-work-no-pay policy was obnoxious and a breach of labour laws.

The assertion was made by Ms Happiness Uduk, Zonal Coordinator of ASUU, Calabar Zone during a press conference in Calabar.

Uduk called on the Federal Government to pay without delay, its members their varying months’ withheld salaries, noting that, ASUU, like any other union under International Labour Organisation (ILO) conditions, can use the strike as a  tool to get its demand

She said the 2022 strike was unwillingly suspended on the heels of interventions and promises made both formally and informally by well-meaning Nigerians including Mr Femi Gbajabiamila, the then Speaker of the House of Representatives.

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“Denying ASUU members their salaries for the period of being on strike and for work that has now been completed is against Labour best practices and is further heightening the already tense environment.

“It is clear that the said salaries may not measure a quarter of the then value now and no one sees no reason in not paying us if it is not part of the grand plan to further pauperise the Nigerian academic.

“As we speak, there are reports of the payment of two out of the over seven months salaries owed our members, ASUU, therefore, unequivocally insists on the total payment of the withheld salaries and en bloc without further delay,” she said.

Speaking further, Uduk said the Nigerian academic was the worst paid in the world as a professor at bar earns less than 300 dollars, adding that even when the draft agreement was put up, the value of naira to dollar was $120 but today it is $1,500.

She said the Federal Government had in 2020 promised in a Memorandum of Association, (MOA) signed with the union to mainstream the Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) into the salaries of lecturers, while in 2021, it would pay the backlog.

She noted that to date, no payment was made except that in 2023, a part of it was captured in the national budget for federal universities but not paid.

“The union hopes that government will not allow disruption of the academic calendar over a matter for which budgetary allocation had been made,” she said.

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