FG Takes Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) To Labor Court

The ongoing dispute between the federal government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), which has shut down all public universities for more than seven months, has taken a new turn as FG files a lawsuit against the union in the labor court, which is postponed to begin Monday.

According to Within Nigeria, ASUU has been on strike since February 14 over government failure to implement demands for faculty salaries and allowances, improved university funding and the introduction of UTAS against the federal government’s preferred payment platform – Integrated Payroll Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

It was noted that the Ministry’s Commercial Disputes Division had filed a case before the Industrial Arbitration Court in Abuja and that the hearing would begin next Monday.

According to the source, “The federal government has filed a lawsuit in the labor court against the continuing professors’ strike.

This is in line with Section 17 of the Commercial Disputes Act.”

The federal government and ASUU leadership have held a number of talks, but none have resulted in a positive outcome.

However, after a meeting at the Abuja National University Commission office last Tuesday, negotiations between the federal government and ASUU eventually ground to a halt, with the federal government insisting not to sign any additional agreements it could not implement.

Education Minister Malam Adamu Adamu, disclosing during a meeting of pro-chancellors and vice-chancellors of federal universities at the NUC’s office, said President Muhammadu Buhari warned the government team involved in negotiations with the ASUU against signing an agreement to the effect the government would not be able to fulfil.

According to him, “The government has offered the union a 23.5 percent pay rise for all categories of staff at federal universities except for professorial staff, who will enjoy a 35 percent upward revision.

He said the government had also pledged N150 billion “to be allocated in the 2023 budget as funds for the revitalization of federal universities, to be disbursed to institutions in the first quarter of the year”.

Also, the government said that N50 billion would be set aside in the 2023 budget for the payment of outstanding arrears of earned academic allowances due in the first quarter of the year.

However, ASUU and three other university unions have rejected the offer, describing it as “inadequate to meet their respective needs, which are needed to address the challenges of the university system.”

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