ASUU Defends Allocation Formula, College Staff Protest
Non-academic unions at universities and the university faculty union refused to pay the federal government $ 40 billion for institutional workers on Tuesday.
While the president of ASU prof. Biodun Ogunemi, in an interview with PUNCH, justified the $ 40 billion promised to the faculty. Non-academic unions called the federal government’s distribution formula illogical and a divide-and-rule tactic.
Unions have protested by non-academic staff against the integrated workforce and payroll information system, and the $ 40 billion in compensation received shocked university cities across the country on Tuesday.
The federal government on December 22, as part of an agreement reached with ASUU, pledged to provide universities with 40 billion of earned scholarships. On December 24, the academic union suspended the strike that began on March 23.
But the non-academic unions, which dropped ASUU’s promised 30 billion N30 billion, said the allocation formula was 75% (N30 billion) for teachers and 25% for other unions.
75% said ASUU breeds corruption – Union
Adeyemi Peters, secretary general of the Union of Non-Academic Educational and Associated Institutions, told PUNCH on Tuesday that the government’s failure to follow the forensic report on benefits earned is the cause of the current exchange formula crisis.
Peters said the 75% allocation of ASUU’s fund was not based on any logic, pointing out that it would also lead to corruption.
He explained that the audit report of consultants hired by the Federation’s General Accounting Office recommended the amount that each university would receive and the total amount that should be paid to the unions.
Peters said: “Since 2013, the government has been providing money, but these payments were made in such a way that ASUU receives most of what is produced. The non-teaching staff then said the government should conduct a forensic examination of what has been paid so far.
“This was agreed by all trade unions; The Federation’s chief accountant’s office hired consultants to conduct forensic checks on what was released, what was paid, and what was left.
“And we said that if the forensic report was published, the distribution of money (40 billion N. the amount that each union receives, but the government has dropped the report and decided now to say that the N40b should be divided by 75 % with ASUU and 25% with other unions. “
“We said no, this contradicts the idea of a forensic medical examination. What they propose is not based on any logic and does not represent transparency. This is why we insist on using an audit report to determine how much each employee will be paid and what each union will receive. ”
The NASU secretary said his union has no problem with ASUU, but with the government, which he accused of randomly assigning a percentage.
Peters commented, “What if your debt to them (ASUU) is less than the interest you give them? We have no problem with ASUU, but we have problems with the government. The government’s approach is distributive and does not guarantee industrial peace. “.
FG uses divide and conquer tactics – union leader
Moreover, the president of the National Association of Academic Technologists, Ibeji Nwokoma, in an interview with PUNCH, accused the federal government of using tactics of division and rule to polarize trade unions.
He said the decision to grant N30b to ASUU was unfair and unacceptable, noting that the government did not disclose the criterion for the allocation formula.
Nwokoma said, “We are not opposed to the government giving any union what it thinks it should give, but the truth is that what constitutes goose sauce is also duck sauce. Our earned benefits were only paid until 2011, while ASUU was paid until 2015, and if you give them N30b, you will now pay them until 2020. So it’s unfair, it’s unfair and acceptable. The government uses a divide and conquer system.
Nwokoma said ASUU is likely to be rewarded with a huge sum for the strike, noting that any union could establish a university system. We gave the government a 14-day ultimatum to revise the exchange formula, otherwise we will close the universities. “
President of the University of Nigeria Senior Staff Association Mohammed Ibrahim said during a union protest at the University of Abuja on Tuesday: “If the government remains firm and problems are not resolved, the JAC (Joint Action Committee) will take action on Thursday.
“We also have children at universities. We hope the government will do whatever is necessary before the three days of protests are over, but if this is not done, which we are not praying for, by Thursday we will be able to inform the world about our next steps. ”
Also at UNIABUJA, NASU Treasurer Sadiat Hassan told reporters: “We protest the irregularities in IPPIS payments and call for a revision of our 2009 agreement, which is long overdue.
“We are also protesting against the non-payment of the benefits we earned and the injustice the federal government allowed in distributing the benefits earned, as they gave one union 75% and others 25%.
“This is contrary to the agreement reached in October (last year) that money should be allocated to all trade unions. Therefore, we expect them to treat everyone fairly. “
Moreover, members of SSANU of the Federal University of Lokoja in Kogi state began a peaceful protest at 8 am on Tuesday.
The SSANU / JAC president at Uche Onedi University has threatened that unions will go on a nationwide strike if the government does not comply with their demands.
Addressing reporters during a protest at Federal University of Gusau, Zamfara State, JAC President of Mallam University Muddasir Musa said: “We tried to meet with them (the government) and solve problems, but they could never work.
“We decided to protest, and if that doesn’t work, we’ll have to go on strike because that’s the only language the government understands.”
IPPIS busted us: non-academic workers
At Abubakar University, Tafawa Balewa, Bauchi, JAC complained that joining the IPPIS imposed by the federal government had impoverished workers.
JAC chairman Sulisma Zhatau, who spoke to reporters at the start of the three-day union protest, said the groups had joined IPPIS by mistake.
He said: “University unions joined IPPIS because we were wrong to believe it was a platform that would root out corruption and bring transparency.
“We even complained about some irregularities that we had in some universities. We went there (Abuja) and cleaned up and it took almost six months to tell them that we have some quirks at some universities and the platform is not picking them up.
“They promised us that the platform would be flexible and encompass everything, but to our dismay, when we joined, we became poorer than we were.
“Our salaries are deducted unnecessarily. In fact, over the past 11 months, we have received different salaries. So, we found out that to eliminate the anomaly, you need to go to Abuja. This is counterproductive. We now believe that IPPIS is corrupt. ”
He said the union signed a memorandum of understanding with the federal government on the matter on October 20, 2020, but nothing was done.
He said: “We have waited so long for the federal government to understand our situation. We have to shout loudly to inform the public that we have changed and the federal government is not sensitive to our situation. That is why we must hold this protest to get our demands back home.
“We must file this protest right now in connection with the announcement of the date of the resumption of the university. We have so many problems on the ground and as law abiding unions we don’t want to interrupt the school calendar. That’s why we want the government to be more active, come to our aid and meet our demands before the schools reopen. ”
But ASUU President Ogunemi, in an interview with The PUNCH, cleared the union’s blame for the exchange formula crisis.
Ogunemi claimed that his union had an agreement with the government and it was explained to him what ASUU would pay for.
He stated: “I am not going to get into controversy. There are no problems with the ACS. I will not debate with anyone. All I know is that we have an understanding of how much the government will pay ASUU. We believe the government will pay.
“Explained how much ASUU members should pay. The amount to be paid to each university has been indicated and we believe we will be paid.
We have an understanding with the government, others can also ask for their rights – ASUU
“I don’t do business with any other trade unions. We are worried about ASUU members. I have no problem with other trade unions, because they also demand that their rights be respected. So our rights should not interfere with theirs, and their rights should not interfere with ours. Whatever they think is appropriate, we have no problem with that. We know what our members deserve and what has been established for our members, we believe that the government will pay. “
He also said that ASUU was in dispute with the government about paying the compensation it earned.
As a reminder, Ogunemi, when he announced the suspension of the nine-month strike that began on March 23, 2020 and ended on December 24, 2020, said the federal government had promised to pay out the money by the end of December 2020.
Ogunemi said on Tuesday: “We are involving the government in this. There were some initial hurdles, and we overcame that obstacle, so we have some understanding. “
Source: – Punch ng