Strike: Fg contemplates ASUU, Ssanu, Nasu merger
The federal government has taken steps to consolidate all unions in the university system into one organization, said Professor Abubakar Rashid, executive secretary of the NUC’s National University Commission.
The polarization of the university system, in which each union makes its own demands on the federal government, creates obstacles for the government to meet their demands, he said.
Rashid also attributed the phenomenon to the fact that higher education in Nigeria cannot be matched academically with their counterparts abroad.
He did so by serving as a special guest for the second time in four years at the SSANU Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities National Delegates Conference in Abuja on Monday.
Negotiations are underway for the Nigerian Labor Congress leadership to invite all unions to a roundtable to understand why they should be united under one roof, he said.
Unions expected to join the new proposal include the ASUU Academic Staff Union, the NASU Non-Academic Staff Union, the NAAT National Association of Academic Technologists, and the SSANU Association of Senior Staff Members of Nigeria.
He argued that unions should enter into negotiations with the government by mutual agreement, and not through a segmented approach.
Speaking to the conscience of the unions, the NUC scribe said it was unfortunate that most of the time the government and individual unions cover their heads negotiating better employee benefits at the expense of students.
He said: “No university in the world can deal effectively with insolation, it is disappointing that the university system in Nigeria is polarized by different unions, there is NAAT, ASUU, SSANU negotiating different things.
“Most of the time, while one group is negotiating with the government, others warn of attack if their demands are not met.”
Rashid also said that Education Minister Adamu Adamu has received President Muhammad Bukhari’s approval to send visiting groups to all public universities in Nigeria.
He explained that the need arose after the ugly incidents following the University of Lagos, where the pro-rector’s council, the governing council headed by Vale Babalakin, ordered the dismissal of former Vice-Chancellor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe.
He said that the respective groups, which will be opened soon, should visit the universities and submit a report for a ten-year period in two separate groups of five years each.
In addition, following the resignation of Veil Babalakin as chairman of the university’s renegotiation committee, the federal government re-established an eight-member committee to negotiate and finalize existing agreements between the government and trade unions.
The NUC scribe said the letters of appointment will be delivered to appointments on Tuesday or Wednesday this week.
As a reminder, while issues related to the 2009 Joint Negotiating Agreement and the NEEDS assessment program have yet to be resolved at most public universities, the University Academic Staff Union and the federal government have engaged in a witty battle over the controversial Integrated Staff Salary and Information IPPIS systems, even before the global isolation caused by the coronavirus pandemic began.
On the other hand, SSANU and NASU criticized the federal government for its alleged persistence in implementing benefits and other special social assistance packages for its team members.
Source: – Independent ng