STRIKE: ASUU, ANSU ON COLLISION COURSE
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Anambra State University, is heading on collusion course with management of the institution, which has directed its entire staff to resume work today.
ASUU, which has been on strike for about four months now, rising from a meeting yesterday, directed its members to ignore the directive of the school management, as it was not consulted and did not reach any agreement with the authority to call of its strike, insisting that it was still on strike.
Pro-chancellor of the institution, Prof. Elochukwu Amuchieazi in a swift reaction to the ASUU position said the school would be opened today as directed by the people of Anambra State and that any staffer when fails to show up would have him or herself to blame.
The Registrar of ANSU, Mr. S.E. Offoregbu had in a public statement directed the staff of the school to resume duty today on the mandate of the people and government of Anambra State, who own the university. But speaking to Daily Sun on the stand of ASUU, the ANSU-ASUU chairman, Dr. Jaja Nwanegbo said, 'the ASUU-ANSU members will not resume duty Monday, 22 November, 2010 contrary to the misleading information to that effect by the Governing Council via the Registrar.
'As a matter of fact, only ASUU-ANSU congress on the order of the ASUU NEC has the authority to call off the strike. However, NEC can only issue such instruction to call off the strike when the state government agrees to implement the 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement. 'Regrettably, the state government and the Governing Council have been insincere in resolving the conflict. Rather they prefer using agents of destruction to break ASUU-ANSU in order to serve their selfish interest to the detriment of the staff and students of the university.
'The last meeting we had with government was on November 12, 2010 at Parktonia Hotel Awka, there the Council made an offer of 87 per cent implementation of the salary component of the 2009 agreement and asked us to resume work. We told them that this cannot be the issue because we were talking about implementation of an agreement which is all encompassing not just salary, but that if they can make a commitment as to when they will implement salary like other states, like Abia, Imo, that's January, but the Council chairman refused to enter any commitment and that's when we knew something was wrong because a professor can not shy away from entering into agreement.
'On the 16th, the governor went on a meeting at Nnewi and declared 80 per cent, by 18th the Registrar wrote us a letter and said 60 per cent, so it became difficult for us to know which to follow. 'Meanwhile, we cannot say we have agreed on anything when we have not entered into any agreement. They never sought our opinion whether the school will resume or not, they just went on air and announced resumption, whether we like it or not and ordered that the school should be opened for those who want to continue working in the university.
'So they are shying away from commitment, they don't want to implement the agreement, and you know we are five state universities in the South-East that went on this strike, none of the state governments is using any force or threat, except Anambra state. 'We are on strike and therefore nobody is expected to be in the school on Monday or thereafter until the issues that let to the strike are resolved and the strike is called off.'
But disagreeing with the ASUU, Prof. Amuchieazi said it was not for the lecturers to dictate for the owners of the university when it would open the school and advised them to report to duty today and afterwards continue with negotiations. He told Daily Sun that that university management was merely carrying out the directives of the people of the state and government of Anambra State.
He said, 'You saw the advert, the decision of Anambra people and that is what counts. Therefore, the management has agreed that the school will start tomorrow (today), the school will be re-opened tomorrow. Are you listening to ASUU or the university, the Anambra people have taken a decision and they have directed the school to open tomorrow and we have told the school to go ahead and re-open tomorrow.
'If anyone fails to come to work he will have himself to blame. Is ASUU directing the government? With which law is the university being governed? Is it federal government law or state law?'