Amidst strike, UNIABUJA introduces ‘no work, no pay’ policy

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The management of the University of Abuja (UNIABUJA) said on Friday that it is introducing a ‘No Work, No Pay’ policy against any of the institution’s workers not found at their duty post.

The threat is not unconnected to the ongoing industrial action by a faction of the institution’s chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU).

The university’s Vice-Chancellor, Abdul-Rasheed Na’Allah, said the management has issued a circular mandating all academic staff members to resume their teaching duties or face the consequences of unpaid salaries.

Mr Na’Allah, a professor, disclosed this on the institution’s Facebook page.

He said the management of the institution has taken steps to address all of the issues raised by the striking members of ASUU.

“It is morally bankrupt for people to expect to be paid salaries for work they have not done,” he said.

But ASUU said it has yet to hear from the university since a meeting that was held more than a week ago. He added that there was no resolution or agreements reached at the meeting.

Recall that the institution’s chapter of ASUU embarked on an indefinite strike on 2nd May after accusing the university management of violating its establishment laws, including appointments and promotions of members of staff in the absence of a governing council.

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The union also accused the university of shortchanging ASUU in the establishment of the UniAbuja Microfinance Bank, which he said the union had bought shares since 2017, stressing that the union is both a stakeholder and a shareholder in the project.

The union’s chairperson, Sylvanus Ugoh, also condemned the advertorial for the position of a vice chancellor to replace Mr Na’Allah insisting that recruiting a vice chancellor is the responsibility of the university governing council alone, which is currently non-existent.

Nigerian tertiary institutions including UniAbuja have operated without a governing council since last June when President Bola Tinubu dissolved them in a sweeping directive that affected all government parastatals.

ASUU National body recently issued a two-week ultimatum to the Nigerian government to reinstate councils whose tenures are yet to expire and reconstitute those whose tenures already lapsed. ASUU said the absence of councils has ushered in all manners of illegalities in the universities.

However, Mr Na’Allah said the university has taken steps to resolve the issues in contention with the union.

He said the university management has agreed to delay the 2023/2024 promotion process until the governing council is in place, and is willing to accommodate the concerns of the staff.

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Regarding the advertisement for the position of a vice-chancellor to succeed him, he said, the process has been put on hold until the council is inaugurated.

“We agreed that since it was from the Minister of Education and it has also already closed, no further processing will be done until the Governing Council comes, and meanwhile, applicants who still bring their applications after the deadline would be so indicated but not turned away,” he said.

Regarding representation in the institution’s Microfinance Bank, he said the management of the institution has approved an ASUU representative on the board and has “sent its representative to management for onward transmission to the board to incorporate such member on the board.”

The vice-chancellor, however, noted that ongoing promotion exercises will be completed while new ones will be postponed until the governing council is established.

He added that the university has committed to holding all remaining deanship elections within two to three days of ASUU calling off the strike.

He also said the university has agreed to submit all recruited personnel to the council for ratification.

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“The federal government is in the process of inaugurating the new Council, all these matters are therefore in the process of final resolution since Council would immediately delve into each of these and take decisions for the university,” he added.

He appealed to ASUU to suspend the strike and work together to resolve the issues.

“I am ready to temporarily pull the register but with the expectation that all those calling me and some peace-loving ASUU members/UniAbuja Staff would join in making the ASUU see reason why it should call off its strike now,” he added.

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