Friday, April 18, 2014

#CODED-ish News::LASU Issues Strike Ultimatum

1:44 AM

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo Chapter, on Thursday threatened to go on strike at the expiration of another 14-day ultimatum it declared on April 15.

The union made the declaration at its South-West zonal congress, held at the institution.

Dr Adesola Nasir, ASUU South-West Zonal Coordinator, said the ultimatum was effective from April 15.

"The 14-day ultimatum trade dispute had been issued to accord the management an opportunity to address the demands of the union.

"ASUU would be holding its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting at the expiration of the ultimatum and ASUU-LASU will embark on a full scale strike, if its demands are not met," he said.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that ASUU- LASU had, on March 25, declared a 21- day ultimatum trade dispute, following the non-implementation of some agreements reached with its management over 12 months ago.

Nasir said that ASUU, at the National level, had intervened to resolve the brewing crisis in the university through dialogue with the management.

He, however, said that the issue was being handled with levity by the institution's authorities.

"The national level had tried to arrest the trouble that is about to erupt at LASU.

"But the university authority says there are lots of demands they cannot resolve, except with the aid of the state government," he said.

Nasir said the university authority had not met the demands of the lecturers but chose to engage in propaganda against the union.

He said the union, as a conscience of the nation, would not allow the hike in fees in the institution to remain.

"Student enrollment drops yearly due to the hike in fees, ranging from N197, 000 to N350 000.

"The annual enrollment in 2011/2012 before the increment was 3,052, but has dropped to 1,119 in the 2013/2014 admission," he said.

According to Nasir, the `no vacancy no promotion' policy was also yet to be addressed by the management, adding that such policy would stagnate the progress of staff.

"The management, saying that promotion was ongoing, was economically far with the truth.

"Those who are due and qualified for promotion, there is no vacancy for them, and are not promoted," he said.

He noted that ASUU-LASU may be denied the over N2 billion Needs Assessment intervention fund, because the available facilities had been under-utilised.

"LASU is far behind the recommended National University Commission (NUC) carrying capacity for universities, as available facilities are under-utilised.

"The university has at least 6,000 carrying capacity, but is now carrying 1, 500," the official said.

Nasir advised the authorities to implement the 2012 University Miscellaneous Provision (Amendment) Act by the Federal Government, to discontinue the continuous retirement of staff in the professorial cadre.

He urged the management, governing council and the government to do the needful in the matter, so that peace and industrial harmony could be restored in the university.

Meanwhile, the authorities of the institution had on April 14 urged the union to embrace peace, as efforts were being made to meet their demands.

The management had, in a statement signed by the Public Relations Officer, Mr Kayode Sutton, said that there were only three demands, out of the initial 20 of the union that had not been met.

According to the statement, the government has dealt with the issue of salary arrears by paying its part, while the university has also been paying its own part.

"The schedule of paying the balance has already been announced and will be honoured,'' the statement said.

The management, in the statement, also refuted the claim that it was operating a "no vacancy no promotion policy."

It also said that the government had been in discussion with the students on the issue of school fees, and that it should not be a basis for grounding activities at the institution.

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