By Nigerian Tribune
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has advised the trio of Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU), the Senior Staff Union of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) to stop using ASUU to bargain for whatever they think is due to them from the government.
The President of ASUU, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, gave this advice on Friday in an exclusive interview with Saturday Tribune when he was asked for the union’s reaction to SSANU, NASU and NAAT’s stance on what they termed unfavourable sharing formula for the newly approved N2.127 billion Earned Allowance by the Federal Government to pay university workers.
He said even though ASUU would not want to join issues with any union over the money, the three other unions should know that there is no basis for making reference to ASUU getting 75 per cent of the lump sum, which is N16.6 billion, to fight their own course.
According to him, ASUU is not talking about sharing or allocation of, money, but about Earned Academic Allowance for members who are being owned by the government based on calculation and percentage of personnel cost each year.
He noted that the approved amount was based on that percentage which was worked out by the committee set up for the purpose and for 2020.
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He explained that it is not even every ASUU member that would benefit from the money as Earned Academic Allowance according to him is strictly for lecturers whose duties fall under a certain workload.
He said, “The money is for only lecturers who have done some certain work such as supervising postgraduate projects or have excess workload, and so forth over their normal work schedules and that is why a Lecturer One, for example, can get more money under this earned allowance than a professor.
“So, earned academic allowance has nothing to do with rank but the volume of the excess workload a lecturer has done and this is not new in the system,”
Explaining further, Prof Osodeke said anyone who cares to study the document of the approved money would find out that there is nothing like a formula for sharing money.
He said each union bargained to get things done for its members based on peculiar issues in contention.
Citing an example, he said “Union “A” doesn’t negotiate anything for union “B” and that is why ASUU does not negotiate for other unions neither ASUU expects any union to negotiate for her.
“So, what ASUU was able to get for members on this earned allowance is based on the calculation of what is due to us and if any other union doesn’t satisfy with whatever government gives to her or believes it is not enough, it should calculate what remains and make a case based on that rather than referring to what ASUU has gotten or is getting.
“As far as ASUU is concerned, we have nothing to do with percentage here.”
When asked if the government shouldn’t have put the total approved money as a lump sum for all the unions, he said while ASUU is not speaking for the government, it is not out of place that government do lump salaries of workers together.
He said that was why the ideal thing for a trade union is to confront the government based on what is due to her and not what the government has given to, or done for, another union.
“So, giving the government an ultimatum based on what ASUU has been able to get is irrelevant in labour matter,” he stressed.