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ASUU votes for one-month warning strike, to give details today

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Academic activities in the nation’s public universities will once again be grounded for a whole month following the decision of the lecturer’s union to embark on a warning strike for the period to press home their demands for improved welfare package and better learning environment.

A report by Vanguard on Monday morning stated that after deliberations that dragged into the early hours of Monday, the National Executive Council of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, had voted to embark the one-month strike.

The national leadership of the Union is expected to hold a press conference later today to give details of the industrial action.

A source at the meeting said the strike was to allow the Federal Government to act on the lingering issues, failure to which the union would go on an indefinite strike.

It quoted a source at the meeting as saying, “We just want to give the government a long rope hoping that it would see the need to avoid a total paralysis of academic activities in the nation’s universities. We are parents too and have our children in the system but we cannot watch and allow the total collapse of education in the country.

“Our agitation is in the interest of all and if the system is made better, we will all enjoy it. Prominent personalities in the country have waded into the matter but the government seems recalcitrant. Our National President would explain more when he briefs the press later today.”

The union has been agitating for a number of demands including the payment of Earned Academic Allowance, revitalization fund, the replacement of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System, IPPIS, with the University Transparency and Accountability System UTAS, among others.

Education

ASUU strike: Lecturers outstanding salaries further delay reopening of universities

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  • We won’t pay lectuers for strike period, FG insists
  • ASUU vows not to end strike without full payment

Controversy over payment of outstanding salaries owed striking lecturers may further delay reopening of government universities shut about six months ago due to the industrial action called by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

While the Federal Government on Thursday insisted it would not pay the lecturers for the whole strike period, ASUU vowed not to call off the strike unless its members had been fully paid their outstanding salaries.

Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, who said the no-work no-pay policy would be fully enforced, said ASUU was free to go to court to challenge the government’s decision on the matter.

He also said students affected by the industrial action of the ASUU should sue the union.

ASUU has been on strike since February 14 over the Federal Government’s failure to meet its demands bordering on the funding of universities, salaries and allowances of lecturers as well as payment method or platform.

The strike clocked 185 days on Thursday, a development that has left students, parents and other stakeholders frustrated.

Adamu said no lecturer would not be paid salaries for the six months they are absent from work.

He said, “I think the stand that the government has taken now, not to pay for work not done, I think that’s the only thing in the hand of the government to ensure that there is penalty for some behaviour like this.

“I believe teachers will think twice before they join strike if they know that at the end, they are not going to be paid.

“The government is not acting arbitrarily. There is a law and I believe this is going to be a strong element to deter many from going on strike.”

When asked if the FG had plans to compensate students affected by the industrial action, Adamu said it should be ASUU to compensate the students, not the government.

The minister said, “Who do you assume will compensate students? The Federal Government? Probably you should take the leaders of strike unions to court to pay them; probably the court will award damages and then, we’ll see how they pay.

“We are all hit by this strike action, perhaps because students have to spend an extra one year or two, you can say, they are worst hit. If you had the chance, or the capacity to measure the effect of that on the economy, the economy is also a victim, parents are also victims.

“It’s a loss for the nation. As far as I know, JAMB will administer examinations; students will use it to process admissions into universities, nothing has changed.”

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We’ve not accepted UTAS as payment platform for lecturers, says FG

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The Federal Government says it has not adopted the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) as the payment platform for lecturers.

President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, said on Monday that the FG had approved UTAS, which was presented by the union as against the government’s Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

But reacting to this on Thursday at a briefing on ‘Reforms in the Education Sector in Nigeria’ in Abuja, Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, said the issue of UTAS was still being deliberated upon.

He said a committee had been set to look into it.

Adamu also said an estimated N2.5 trillion had been invested in tertiary education in the last 10 years, adding that the amount was invested through the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund).

He said the amount exceed the N1.2 trillion contained in the 2009 agreement with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and still counting.

He added that President Muhammadu Buhari had expended a total of N6,003,947,848,237 in capital and recurrent expenditure in the education sector in the last seven years.

According to him, this is more than any other administration in the history of the nation. Adamu added, “Common knowledge as it were, many Nigerians may not know that the Federal Government is paying the salaries of every staff in its tertiary institutions, academic and non-academic staff, while these institutions are also in full control of their Internally Generated Revenues (IGR).”

He said the unions in tertiary institutions in the country, especially ASUU, had been engaged in recurring and avoidable strikes that had crippled the university system.

He said, “We are doing everything humanly possible to conclude on the negotiations. It is our hope that the outcome of the renegotiations will bring lasting industrial peace to our campuses.

“In the meantime, I am sure that the current efforts would yield the desired results and return our children back to school.”

He also said enormous resources had gone into various categories of training including the PhDs, master’s degrees and related research programmes for personnel of universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education.

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Borno public school teachers now enjoying N30,000 minimum wage – Zulum

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A total of 4,491 qualified teachers under the Borno State Local Government Education Authority are now enjoying the monthly payment of N30,000 minimum wage with effect from August, 1, 2022.

The Borno State Governor, Prof. Babagana Zulum, stated this, saying he had approved the immediate implementation of the N30,000 minimum wage to the teachers.

The State Government under the leadership of Governor Zulum faced accusations on the social media last week that teachers working with public primary schools received monthly salary between N7,000 and N11,000 as take home pay.

Governor Babagana Zulum who just returned from Japan after an official engagements gave the approval while having meeting with the chairmen and members of the state civil service and local government service commissions, Head of Service, as well members of Nigerian Union of Teachers (NUT), and Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) at the Government House, Maiduguri on Wednesday.

Zulum also said promotion benefits of all state civil servants would be implemented from January 2022 to 2023 after a promotional examination, stressing that if Yobe State could conduct promotional examination, nothing should stop Borno from doing so.

“The problems in the state civil service and the local government service commissions are enormous. Many people could not understand the complexity of problems we have at hand, but I assure you we are going to sit down and address them with time.”

He lamented that about 3,000 teachers on the payroll of the LEA in the state did not have any qualified certificate, talk less of experience to teach, but assured that those trainable would be trained.

“We will take 1,000 unqualified teachers that are trainable to be undergo training at the Colleges of Education Waka Biu and Bama, while others will be trained in collaboration with National Teachers Institutes (NTI) for six months, and when pass the competency test, they will be observed into the system,” he said.

Borno State Chairman of the NLC, Yusuf Inuwa, commended Governor Zulum for the payment of 2020 leave grant to the state civil servants and assured him of the labour continued industrial harmony and support.

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