ASUU Set To Hold A Protest Rally Today Says Lecturers Intellectuals Not Casual Workers

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The Academic Staff Union Of Universities, University of Lagos Branch, has said it is set to draw the attention of Nigerians to the Federal Government’s attempt to casualise the academia.

As such, Chairman, ASUU UNILAG, Dr Dele Ashiru, said a protest rally, titled, ‘The casualisation of intellectualism in Nigeria,’ would hold today, on UNILAG campus to inform Nigerians about the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige’s position on the crisis.

The PUNCH also gathered that all universities that are members of ASUU would hold their protest rallies on different dates.

Meanwhile, ASUU in a statement last week condemned the attempt of the Federal Government to reduce it to casual workers, due to the half salaries its members received after it called off its strike in October.

The statement titled, ‘We are intellectuals, not casual workers, read, “The action of the Union was a display of manifest trust in the judiciary and other institutions and organs of government to always put national interest above all other considerations. This we believe as a union of thinkers, intellectuals, and patriots.

“Unfortunately, the response of government towards ASUU’s demonstration of trust was the so-called ‘pro-rata’ payment for eighteen days as the October 2022 salaries of academics thereby portraying them as daily paid workers! This is not only an aberration but a contravention of all known rules of engagement in any contract of employment for academics the world over.

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“At an emergency meeting of the ASUU’s National Executive Committee, held on Monday, 7th November, 2022, the Union deliberated on developments since the suspension of the strike. NEC noted with dismay that paying academics on a “pro-rata” basis, like casual workers, is unprecedented in the history of university-oriented labour relations and therefore condemned this attempt to reduce Nigerian scholars to casual workers in its entirety.”

In the statement, ASUU President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, explained that the union suspended its eight-month strike on 14th October, 2022, in obedience to the order of the National Industrial Court and in further consideration of intervention efforts of well-meaning Nigerians, including the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila.

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