The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Thursday said it is yet to call off its ongoing strike because the federal government has made a smooth negotiation very impossible.
Disclosing this on Channels Television programme ‘Politics Today’, the national body of the university lecturers, led by its President, Prof. Abiodun Ogunyemi said that they are waiting for the government to conduct an integrity test on the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), a homegrown payment platform created by ASUU in place of the government’s Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
Ogunyemi said due to the IPPIS structure, some university lecturers are losing up to 70 percent of their salaries while some professors received N8,000 as monthly salaries for several months.
He also accused the federal government of reneging on agreements with the union since 2013 including frustrating the plan by ASUU to introduce an alternative payment system for university lecturers.
While calling for the understanding of students and their parents, he said that as far as they are concerned, they don’t have any issue with going back to work, but they want more sincerity on the side of government.
“People are losing about 50 to 70 percent of their salaries. In fact, there were professors that were paid about N8,000 in some months in our campuses. So, we don’t expect something otherwise because that platform is not meant for the university system”.
“I believe our students and their parents will understand. If we have lecturers that have not been paid for eight, nine months, how can we have that person putting in their best into the system? If people are going back to the universities and they will be paid half or less of their usual salaries, how can we cope with that?”
“And salary is not the only issue like I said, there were allowances that were discussed; there was the issue of the salary scale. If we have been on the same salary structure for 11 years, I think our members have the right to say ‘No, that cannot happen. Government has made it difficult for smooth negotiation”.
It will be recalled that ASUU embarked on an industrial action about eight months ago across the country, following its dispute with the Federal Government over their insistence on the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) in the payment of University lecturers’ salaries and allowances.
Alternatively, ASUU developed a homegrown payment platform, UTAS, which they believe guarantees the autonomy of the university.