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ASUU: Varsity Lecturers Join Nationwide Strike

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has officially declared its participation in the indefinite strike action initiated by major labor groups, including the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) and the Trade Union Congress (TUC).

The announcement, made on Monday, June 3, 2024, by ASUU President Emmanuel Osodeke, was communicated to the union’s branch chairpersons and zonal coordinators.

The strike action comes against a backdrop of escalating tensions between the government and various labor unions over unresolved issues related to the renegotiation of the minimum wage for Nigerian workers and the recent hike in electricity tariffs.

The NLC had previously declared an indefinite strike starting from June 3, 2024, citing the government’s failure to address these critical concerns.

In his message to ASUU members, Osodeke emphasized the union’s commitment to the broader struggle for workers’ rights and economic justice.

“The NLC has declared an indefinite strike action beginning from Monday, 3rd June 2024, as a result of the failure of the Government to conclude the renegotiation of minimum wage for Nigerian workers and reversal of the hike in electricity tariff,” he stated.

He urged all ASUU branches to join the strike as an affiliate member of the Congress, underscoring the importance of solidarity in achieving the desired outcomes.

“Consequently, branch chairpersons are to mobilize all members to participate in the strike action. Yours in the struggle,” Osodeke concluded, rallying lecturers nationwide to stand in unity with other labor groups.

ASUU’s involvement in the strike adds considerable weight to the labor movement’s efforts, given the union’s history of activism and significant influence in the education sector.

The union has been a vocal advocate for better funding of universities, improved working conditions for academic staff, and broader socio-economic reforms.

The decision to join the strike is rooted in a broader context of discontent among Nigerian workers. The renegotiation of the minimum wage has been a contentious issue, with labor unions arguing that the current wage is insufficient to meet the rising cost of living.

Additionally, the recent increase in electricity tariffs has exacerbated the economic burden on workers and their families, leading to widespread frustration and calls for government action.

The participation of university lecturers in the strike is expected to have significant implications for the education sector.

With lecturers halting academic activities, universities across the country will likely experience disruptions, affecting students and ongoing academic programs.

 This development is particularly concerning given the recent history of strikes in Nigerian universities, which have frequently disrupted academic calendars and extended students’ time in school.

Meanwhile, other major educational unions have also directed their members to comply with the strike directive. These include the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU), the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics (SSANIP), the National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT), and the National Union of Teachers (NUT).

ASUU has a long history of strikes, often centered on demands for better funding of universities and improved conditions for academic staff.

The union’s activism dates back to the 1980s, and it has since become one of the most powerful labor unions in Nigeria. ASUU’s strikes have often drawn public attention to the chronic underfunding of the education sector and the government’s failure to honor agreements made with the union.

In recent years, ASUU has embarked on several prolonged strikes. For instance, in 2020, the union went on a nine-month strike over the government’s refusal to fulfill the terms of a 2009 agreement that included improved funding for universities and payment of outstanding allowances.

The strike was eventually suspended in December 2020 after the government made some concessions.

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