The leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has refused to comment on the decision of the Federal Government to drag the union to the National Industrial Court(NIC).
President of ASUU, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, refused to pick calls or reply to messages sent to his phone on Sunday.
Parties involved in the suit are expected to appear before the NiC on Monday, September 12, 2022.
In a letter addressed to the NiC by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, the government appealed to the court to give the dispute an accelerated hearing in order to bring it to an end.
The letter was confirmed by Ngige on Sunday to Nationnewslead.
“We have referred (the dispute to the NiC) and all parties FGN/ FMEd/HAGF/ASUU have been served for appearance and hearing at NiCN for 9am tomorrow Monday,” Ngige said in a short message.
The letter by the Minister which was obtained by Nationnewslead reads: ” Please find attached three (3) original copies of a Referral Instrument regarding the trade dispute between the Federal Government of Nigeria /Federal Ministry of Education and The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) for adjudication by the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NICN).
“The Referral Instrument is raised in line with powers vested on the Honourable Minister of Labour and Employment by trade dispute resolution mechanisms and the provision of Section 17 of the Trade Dispute Act, CAP. T8, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (LFN), 2004).
“In view of the fact that ASUU members have been on strike since February 14, 2022, and have refused to call off the action despite apprehension of the same , it would be appreciated if this dispute is given an accelerated hearing in order to bring the dispute to an end.
“The addresses of the parties in dispute are as follows: 1. President. Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) c/o ASUU Secretariat University of Abuja, etc. Honorable Minister of Education, Federal Ministry of Education, Federal Secretariat Phase II. Shehu Shagari Way, Abuja 1. Honorable Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation. Shehu Shagari Way. Abuja. iv. The Honorable Minister, Federal Ministry of Labor and Employment, Shehu Shagari Way, Abuja.
“Please be assured of my very warm regards.”
On February 14, ASUU declared a one month warning strike that soon escalated into a full blown strike.
The strike, which has kept public universities shut and academic activities grounded and students and Nigerians bewildered, is in its sixth month, with no end in sight.
Some of the demands of the union included: funding for revitalisation of public universities; payment of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA)/Earned Allowances (EA); payment of salary shortfalls; stop the proliferation of state universities by governors; setting up of Visitation Panels.
Others are: renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement; adoption of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) as a payment platform for university lecturers and payment of withheld salaries and non-remittance of check – off dues. Continue Reading