The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) yesterday, advised the Committee of Pro-Chancellors of State Owned Universities in Nigeria (COPSON) to stop playing to the gallery and learn from their counterparts in federal universities who are impressing it on government to do the needful for public institutions.
The Union in a release signed by the Convener ASUU Rapid Response, Professor Ade Adejumo, entitled “COPSON: Stoking the Blaze of Discord”, stated that no amount of threats will make the Union stop fighting for quality education and welfare of members.
The Union reacted to the communiqué issued at the end of the meeting of COPSON where they said the government should enforce no work no pay and that the centrally- agreed negotiations will not be binding on them to obey. According to the ASUU boss, COPSON needs to understand that the principle of collective bargaining is sanctioned by the law, asking COPSON to explain: “why have they not insisted that policies and directives of central regulatory bodies like JAMB, NUC and NYSC are not binding on them?” Professor Adejumo maintained that: “ASUU is one, a thousand communiqués and threats from COPSON cannot break our ranks and iron resolve to see this struggle and any other one in the future to its successful end”.
ASUU asked the pro-chancellors to provide evidences where they have improved the salaries and welfare of their school but said prochancellors of state universities “are always eager to run to Abuja to collect money from TETFUND which was brought into existence by ASUU, but only wonders whether some people’s consciences go on holiday when they sit down to make certain pronouncements”.
He said: “These indeed are grave moments. Ominous signs on the horizon for our education system. The latest assault on the university system in Nigeria is captured by the communiqué released by the committee of pro-chancellors of state universities. The ‘fatwa’ declared on the principle of collective bargaining by a duly registered Union like ASUU for its members is quite worrisome. If we may ask, what is the function of a Union if not to see to the welfare of its members? Why is COPSON fixated on the curious idea that centrally- negotiated salaries by ASUU with the government will not be binding on them when they have always been represented in such negotiations?”