Half-salary: ASUU Exco Meets, Lecturers Consider Sit-at-home

by Oluwamuyiwa Oyedele

The National Executive Council of the Academic Staff Union of Universities is set to meet in Abuja today.

The meeting is set to be held at the union’s headquarters at the University of Abuja.

One of the key issues to be deliberated on is the payment of half-salaries to the lecturers.

Leaders of the union, who spoke to newsmen said the lecturers would decide whether or not to resume strike following the payment of half salary by the government.

Already, some branches across the country have held a congress to decide on the next steps to take.

The branch at the University of Jos, for instance, has asked the lecturers to stay home pending the payment of withheld salaries by the government.

The branch at the Abubakar Tafawa Balewa University resolved that the 2021-2022 academic session be abolished, and the Gombe State University ASUU resolved that the examination results of students be seized.

A member of the NEC who spoke on condition of anonymity said, “Officially, the national body did not tell branches to hold congress, but many of them started calling meetings following the receipt of the amputated salary by the government. We don’t have to go on strike; there are lots of options available.”

When asked about the options available, the member said, “We can decide to stay at home, we can decide to seize results, or we can decide to cancel the session since the government won’t pay the withheld salary and we can’t work for months that we weren’t paid for.”

Meanwhile, a human rights lawyer, Femi Falana (SAN), who is the lead counsel to ASUU, in a statement on Sunday, explained why the ‘no work, no pay’ policy could not be applicable to ASUU.

CONUA’s salaries rectification

Meanwhile, the FG has commenced plans to pay the Congress of University Academics their withheld salaries and rectify the “half salaries” paid to all lecturers under the newly registered union for the month of October 2022.

The lecturers under CONUA, just like those under ASUU, had their salaries withheld following the invocation of the ‘no work, no pay’ policy by the FG during the height of the ASUU strike.

Though the CONUA coordinator, Dr Niyi Sunmonu, noted that its members were not on strike, the lecturers still had their salaries withheld.

CONUA, a breakaway faction of the Academic Staff of Universities, was registered in October 2022 by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.

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