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ASUU Begins Fresh NEC Meeting Over ‘Half Salary’ Payment

The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) on Monday, 7th November has reportedly commenced its meeting.

The meeting which started around 12:40 pm on Monday afternoon became necessary after the union’s lecturers reportedly received ‘half salaries’ from the government. The union had described the October 2022 salaries as “amputated and insensitive.”

Justifying the government’s decision, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, noted that the government paid the lecturers pro rata.

But human rights lawyer, Femi Falana, SAN, who happens to be the lead counsel to ASUU, in a statement released on Sunday 6th November, explained why the no-work-no-pay policy could not be applicable to ASUU.

Falana said, “In justifying the payment of half salaries to members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities for the month of October 2022, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige, has invoked the ‘no-work-no- pay’ clause in section 43 of the Trade Disputes Act (Cap T8),  Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004. According to the Minister of Labour and Employment, the lecturers ‘were paid pro rata to the number of days they worked in October, counting from the day that they suspended their industrial action. Pro-rata was done because you cannot pay them for work not done. Everybody’s hands are tied.”

“The position of the Federal Government is factually faulty and legally misleading. Since the industrial action was called off, the public universities have adjusted their calendars to ensure that the 2021/2022 academic session is not canceled.”

“Consequently, students are currently taking lectures or writing examinations that were disrupted during the ASUU strike. Therefore, having regard to the facts and circumstances of the ASUU strike, the doctrine of “no work, no pay” is totally inapplicable as students who were not taught during the strike are currently attending lectures and writing examinations.”

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