ASUU warns on embarking on another national strike

ASUUTHE Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), has warned that it may resort to another bout of industrial action if the government does not redeem all the agreement entered into with the union nine years ago.

The Zonal Coordinator, ASUU Owerri zone, Uzo Onyebinama gave the warning yesterday, in Awka, during a press conference, stressing that their patience is running out, reminding that such action is not unexpected and that the body would not be perturbed if taken by them.

Onyebinama said, “Today again, we are envisaging that there may be an industrial action if government does not do what is needful, and we’re also aware that the government in power today that was in opposition then will also accuse of using the opposition that was in power then to also undermine the government.”

He listed reasons why ASUU may embark on another strike, including, the collapse of the 2017/2018 renegotiation of the 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement due to governments insistence on the introduction of exorbitant tuition fees beyond the reach of Nigerian parents, non-implementation of components of the 2017 Memorandum of Action (MOA).

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Others he said are, Non release of over one trillion naira arrears of revitalization fund for public universities in the country 2014 to 2018, failure to mainstream the payment of earned academic allowances into annual budget, and failure to pay arrears of shortfall in salaries that have been verified under the Presidential Initiative on Continuous Auditing (PICA).

According to Onyebinama, “Poor funding of State universities, non-implementation of the Earned Academic Allowance (EAA), non-payment of arrears of Consolidated University Academic Salary Structure (CONUASS) in various State universities. Failure to release the operational license of the National Universities Pension Management Company (NUPEMCO), to prevent retirement problems,” may trigger a national strike by ASUU.

The Zonal Coordinator, further refuted allegations that its proposed strike action over the collapse of 2017/2018 renegotiation of the 2009 FG-ASUU agreement was politically motivated, adding that said such allegations were not unexpected, adding that the body was aware they were going to face that kind of criticism.

In another development, the Nigerian Labour Congress(NLC), Anambra State, said it has mobilized its workforce to participate in tomorrow’s warning strike as directed by the Organized Labour.

The Chairman of the NLC in the State, Comrade Jerry Nnubia, disclosed this yesterday, in Awka, while addressing newsmen on the current development.

Comrade Nnubia said he had several meetings with various organized labour in the state to mandate their work force to comply with the directive of the Organized Labour over the warning strike tomorrow.

He said, “The federal government should be responsive to its responsibilities, stressing that the N18, 000(eighteen thousand), naira minimum wage was nothing to write home about in the face of the present economic situation in the country.

Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Judiciary Staff Union of Nigeria, Anambra State, Comrade Jude Igwebike, has revealed that the union has mobilized its work force for the warning strike tomorrow.

He said, after the meeting of the Executive of the Body in the State, members had been directed to shut down all courts in the state with effect from tomorrow in compliance with the directive from its headquarters in Abuja.

Igwebike believed that the current minimum wage had lasted for years, emphasizing that minimum wage should be reviewed at least every four years.

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