The University of Lagos (UNILAG) branch of the Academic Staff Union Of Universities (ASUU) will hold a protest rally today to draw the attention of Nigerians to the Federal Government’s attempt to casualise the academia.
In applying the no-work-no-pay approach, the Federal Government paid university workers from 15th October to the end of that month. ASUU’s industrial action, which commenced on 14th February, ended on 14th October.
Chairman of ASUU UNILAG, Dr Dele Ashiru said a protest rally, titled, ‘The casualisation of intellectualism in Nigeria”, would hold at the campus to inform Nigerians about the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige’s position on the crisis.
Other ASUU branches may also hold similar protest rally.
Last week, ASUU condemned the attempt of the Federal Government to reduce its members to casual workers, following the half salaries received last month.
ASUU’s statement titled, ‘We are intellectuals, not casual workers”, and signed by ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, reads: “The action of the Union was a display of manifest trust in the judiciary and other institutions and organs of government to always put national interest above all other considerations. This we believe as a union of thinkers, intellectuals, and patriots.
“Unfortunately, the response of government towards ASUU’s demonstration of trust was the so-called ‘pro-rata’ payment for eighteen days as the October 2022 salaries of academics thereby portraying them as daily paid workers! This is not only an aberration but a contravention of all known rules of engagement in any contract of employment for academics the world over.
“At an emergency meeting of the ASUU’s National Executive Committee, held on Monday, 7th November, 2022, the Union deliberated on developments since the suspension of the strike. NEC noted with dismay that paying academics on a “pro-rata” basis, like casual workers, is unprecedented in the history of university-oriented labour relations and therefore condemned this attempt to reduce Nigerian scholars to casual workers in its entirety”.
Osodeke explained that the union suspended its eight-month strike on 14th October in obedience to the order of the National Industrial Court and in further consideration of intervention efforts of well-meaning Nigerians, including the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila.