By Gabriel Dike
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Thursday asked the three non teaching staff unions in the Nigerian University System (NUS) to go and negotiate their own earned allowance with the Federal Government rather than make unnecessary noise over what took ASUU nine months to accomplished for members.
ASUU also warned the three non academic unions not to stop members from carrying out their duties. The union said throughout the nine months strike, non academic workers were allowed to operate and even collect salaries.
The leadership of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), National Association of Academic of Technologists (NAAT) and Non Academic Staff Union (NASU) on Wednesday rejected the sharing formula for the approved #40billion Earned Academic Allowance (EAA). The three unions threatened to down tool to protest the imbalance and unfair treatment met out to them on the sharing formula.
Reacting to SSANU, NAAT and NASU complaint over the sharing formula for the #40billion, the Coordinator of ASUU Ibadan Zone, Prof. Ade Adejumo, said what the non academic unions are contesting is called earned academic allowance, which is meant for academic activities carried out by ASUU members.
His words: “See me see trouble. The matter is simple, what they are wrongly agitating for is called earned academic allowance. The #40billion Federal Government promised to release is for EAA. It is properly documented and signed agreement.
“Let Nigerians ask them to go and negotiate with government for their own earned allowance. ASUU is not asking the government to dash us money. Our members filled forms which passed through several processes.
“Contesting what ASUU laboured for nine months to get is wrong. When the Federal Government stopped our members salaries, they were receiving theirs. What government agreed to pay us is called earned academic allowance. Theirs is called earned allowance. You can see the difference.”
Prof. Adejumo stressed that the non academic staff can not shut the universities and prevent others from working, noting “they have the right to go on strike. When ASUU was on strike, we did not stop SSANU, NAAT and NASU members from going to work.”
“Even the #40billion ought to be for ASUU members but government pleaded with us to share the money with them. The EAA issue was taken to the National Universities Commission (NUC) for cross checking. It was agreed that ASUU will take #30billion (75 percent) and Non teaching staff #10billion (25 percent), ” he explained.
On the claim of the non academic staff that #30billion was also approved for them, Prof. Adejumo challenged the three unions to produce the signed agreement with government. He explained that they were asked to go and negotiate with their individual Governing Councils.
Adejumo confirmed that government had paid ASUU members two months (July and August) salaries and promised to pay the remaining four months by the end of December.
The ASUU zonal coordinator told Daily Sun that the condition ASUU gave government is to release the #30billion for the EAA early January.