ASUU-LASU Backs Out Of Ongoing Local Industrial Actions

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Lagos State University (LASU) chapter has disassociated its members from the industrial action called by other staff unions at the university.

The union in a statement jointly signed by Dr. Tony Dansu, Secretary and Dr. Adeolu Oyeka, the Assistant Secretary explained that since the union is presently on a nationwide strike, no branch is permitted to go on a local strike.

The union said the ongoing actions by other staff unions was principally to drive home the “agitation for payment of new minimum wage to workers of the concerned institutions.

The statement read in parts,

“We have been inundated with news of

“ASUU-LASU embarking on an industrial action in conjunction with other staff Unions in LASU and other tertiary institutions in Lagos State, effective Monday 14th September, 2020″.

“After due consideration, the Union is constrained to inform the general public that it amounts to misinformation and total falsehood that ASUU-LASU is on strike.

“For the purpose of clarification, we need to inform as follows that,

“ASUU is currently on a nationwide strike on issues bordering on the attempt by the Federal Government to forcefully migrate its members in federal universities into IPPIS, refusal to show a genuine commitment to the renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU/FGN agreement whose renewal became due in 2013, the failure to implement the Memorandum of Action of 2019, among other issues.

The union added, ” In the tradition and principle of the Union when it is on a national strike, no branch is permitted to go on a local strike. “Therefore, ASUU-LASU cannot be on local strike when there is a national strike ongoing”.

The union explained that should there be need for a local strike there are procedures to be followed ahead of its declaration.

“First is that the National Executive Council (NEC) of ASUU must consider the request of the Branch to proceed on strike, and approve the same, furtherance to which notices of 21 days, 14 days and 7 days are given to the concerned parties.

According to the union, ASUU-LASU did not at any time initiated the process and was never a party in the negotiation of the last minimum wage and do not have a basis for an industrial dispute with the State Government over an agreement that is non-existent, as a law-abiding Union.

It needs to be noted that the University salary structure
though related in a few aspects, is different from that of the Civil Service(UASS, CONUASS, and CONPUASS). The long-overdue renegotiation of this salary scale is one of the reasons for the ongoing ASUU national strike. It is, therefore, impossible for a branch of the Union to duplicate its strike on the same matter, ” the union clarified its position.

ASUU-LASU said it felt scandalised that the name of the union was being dragged into the issue by followers of the Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, adding that it was a surprise that the groups that were opposed to the national strike called by the national body have suddenly dragged it into the present situation.

The union added,

“The true situation with LASU at the moment is that it is exempted from the ongoing national ASUU strike, as it is currently under sanctions from the NEC of ASUU on the basis of the serial illegalities of the administration of the outgoing Vice Chancellor, Prof Lanre Fagbohun.
“This means effectively, that colleagues in other public universities in Nigeria are mandated not to participate with LASU academics in conferences, seminars and symposia. “Furthermore, they are requested not to grant them the privileges of sabbatical leave, visiting scholarship, invitation to serve as External Examiners or contributors to other academic engagements. The sanctions shall subsist until they are vacated by NEC.

We thus wish to state unequivocally that ASUU-LASU is not on any local strike at the moment. We dissociate ourselves from the ongoing situation in the University; and this is without prejudice to whatever agreement or dispute the other staff unions may have with the University administration or Lagos State Government. Once there is a new agreement between ASUU/FGN/State Governments on a new University salary scale, the Union will consider if there is a need to use the minimum benchmark for demanding a consideration of ‘Lagos Factor’ allowances to accommodate the exceptionally high cost of living and working in Lagos, as has been the case in times past, ” the union stated.

It advised the state government and the University administration to focus on the payment of the Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) of its members, which have been outstanding since 2009, adding, “LASU is the only University that has not commenced payment of these allowances, thereby accumulating an unconscionable arrears of eleven (11) years.”

Here below is the full release:

We have been inundated with news of “ASUU-LASU embarking on an
industrial action in conjunction with other staff Unions in LASU and other
tertiary institutions in Lagos State, effective Monday 14th September, 2020″.
This action according to information is principally to drive home the “agitation for payment of new minimum wage to workers of the concerned institutions”.

After due consideration, the Union is constrained to inform the general public that it amounts to misinformation and total falsehood that ASUU-LASU is on strike. For the purpose of clarification we need to inform as follows:

  1. ASUU is currently on a nationwide strike on issues bordering on attempt by
    the Federal Government to forcefully migrate its members in federal
    universities into IPPIS, refusal to show genuine commitment to the
    renegotiation of 2009 ASUU/FGN agreement whose renewal became due in
    2013, the failure to implement the Memorandum of Action of 2019, among
    other issues. In the tradition and principle of the Union, when it is on national
    strike, no Branch is permitted to go on a local strike. Therefore, ASUU-LASU
    cannot be on local strike when there is a national strike ongoing.
  2. Following paragraph 2 above, even if there’s going to be any local strike, there are procedures to be followed ahead of its declaration. First is that the National Executive Council (NEC) of ASUU must consider the request of the Branch to proceed on strike, and approve same, furtherance to which notices 1 of 21 days, 14 days and 7 days are given to the concerned parties. ASUU-LASU did not at any time initiate this process. As a matter of fact, ASUU did not at any point in time partake in the negotiation of the last
    minimum wage. We do not therefore have a basis for industrial dispute with the State Government over an agreement that is non-existent, as a law-abiding Union. It needs to be noted that the University salary structure though related in few aspects, is different from that of the Civil Service(UASS, CONUASS, and CONPUASS). The long overdue renegotiation of this salary scale is one of the reasons for the ongoing ASUU national strike. It is therefore impossible for a branch of the Union to duplicate its strike on the
    same matter.
  3. We are aware that a few praise singers of the outgoing Vice Chancellor, Professor Lanre Fagbohun, have been parading themselves as representatives of the Union over the past few months. These impersonators know next to nothing about the principles of ASUU, neither do they even appear to have the basic awareness of its current struggles as members of the academic community. We feel scandalized that they would seek to drag
    the name of the Union into the current situation. At the beginning of the ongoing national strike, they were mobilized to tell the public that LASU will not be a part of ASUU’s strike because the University administration is doing well, and attending to all welfare issues. Therefore, it is only the Fagbohun Choirboys and their orchestra conductor that can tell the public the basis for the current rhymeless tune.
  4. The true situation with LASU at the moment is that it is exempted from the ongoing  national ASUU strike, as it is currently under sanctions from the NEC of ASUU on the basis of the serial illegalities of the administration of the outgoing Vice-Chancellor, Prof Lanre Fagbohun. This means effectively, that colleagues in other public universities in Nigeria are mandated not to participate with LASU academics in conferences, seminars and symposia.
  5. Furthermore, they are requested not to grant them the privileges of sabbatical leave, visiting scholarship, invitation to serve as External Examiners or contributors to other academic engagements. The sanctions shall subsist until they are vacated by NEC
  6. We thus wish to state unequivocally that ASUU-LASU is not on any local strike at the moment. We dissociate ourselves from the ongoing situation in the University; and this is without prejudice to whatever agreement or dispute the other staff unions may have with the University administration or Lagos State Government. Once there is a new agreement between 2ASUU/FGN/State Governments on a new University salary scale, the Union will consider if there is a need to use the minimum benchmark for demanding the consideration of ‘Lagos Factor’ allowances to accommodate the exceptionally high cost of living and working in Lagos, as has been the case in times past.
  7. At this point in time, we believe that what the State Government and the University administration should focus on is the payment of the Earned Academic Allowances (EAA) of our members, which have been outstanding since 2009. LASU is the only University that has not commenced payment of these allowances, thereby accumulating an unconscionable arrears of eleven (11) years. A labouring academic deserves his or her due wage.
  8. Thank you.Aluta Continua, Vitoria Acerta.
    Tony Dansu, PhD Adeolu Oyekan, PhD Secretary, ASUU-LASU Assistant Secretary, ASUU-LASU 08023921081 08132693259

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