After nearly seven months of strike action that has kept students at home, the federal government has taken the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to the Industrial Court.
Since February 14, ASUU has been on strike to bring attention to the deteriorating facilities at the various universities and the union’s claims of being ignored.
On Friday, sources from the federal ministry of labor told ThisDay that the ministry’s Trade Dispute Department had filed a complaint with the Abuja-based Industrial Arbitration Court, and that the hearing would begin the following Monday.
A lawsuit contesting the ongoing strike by university faculty has reportedly been launched in the Industrial Court by the federal government. In accordance with Section 17 of the Trade Dispute Act.”
There have been multiple rounds of talks between the federal government and the ASUU, but nothing has come of it.
When the federal government and ASUU convened at the office of the National University Commission in Abuja last Tuesday, however, the talks hit a snag.
The government has pledged not to sign any more agreements it cannot carry out.
According to ThisDay, Malam Adamu Adamu, the minister of education, made the announcement at a meeting of Pro-Chancellors and Vice Chancellors of Federal Universities held at the NUC’s office.
President Muhammadu Buhari, according to Adamu, had cautioned the government team negotiating with ASUU against signing a deal that the government would not be able to fulfill.
The minister announced that the government has promised the union a 23.5% salary raise “for all categories of the workers at federal universities, except for the professorial cadre, who would enjoy a 35.5% upward review.” He also announced that N150 billion “must be earmarked for in the 2023 Budget as funding for the revitalisation of federal universities, to be distributed to the Institutions in the First Quarter of the Year”
Furthermore, N50 billion was announced to be “included in the 2023 Budget for the payment of outstanding arrears of earned academic allowances, to be paid in the first quarter of the year.”
But the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and three other university unions have rejected the offer, calling it “inadequate to meet their separate requests needed to solve the difficulties confronting the university system.”
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