ASUU NEC begins meeting over half salary

The National Executive Council NEC) of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has begun its meeting following the decision of the federal government to pay just half salary for October to the body after it embarked on 8-month strike earlier this year.

According to PUNCH report, the meeting started around 12:40 pm on Monday afternoon.

The report quoted a NEC member who spoke under anonymity as saying: “The meeting just started.”

ASUU had summoned an emergency NEC meeting following the payment of “half salaries” to lecturers by the government, describing the half-pay as “amputated and insensitive”.

On his part, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, justified the government’s decision, saying that the payment to the lecturers was pro-rata.

Reacting, human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, who is the lead counsel to ASUU, in a statement released on Sunday, citing legal authorities, said the ‘no-work, no-pay’ policy could not apply to ASUU.

He said: “In justifying the payment of half salary to members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities for the month of October 2022, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige has invoked the “no-work-no- pay” clause in section 43 of the Trade Disputes Act (Cap T8) Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

“According to the Ministry of Labour and Employment, the lecturers “were paid in pro rata to the number of days that they worked in October, counting from the day that they suspended their industrial action.

“Pro-rata was done because you cannot pay them for work not done. Everybody’s hands are tied.

“The position of the Federal Government is factually faulty and legally misleading.

“Since the industrial action was called off the public universities have adjusted their calendars to ensure that the 2021/2022 academic session is not cancelled.

“Consequently, students are currently taking lectures or writing examinations that were disrupted during the strike of the ASUU.

“Therefore, having regard to the facts and circumstances of the ASUU strike the doctrine of “no work, no pay” is totally inapplicable as students who were not taught during the strike are currently attending lectures and writing examinations,” he stated.

Details of the NEC meeting will be reported later.

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