THE ongoing negotiations between the Federal Government and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) would amount to a sheer effort in futility, without the input of the National Income, Salaries and Wages Commission.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service Matters, Aloysius Etok, made this known in Abuja, on Monday.
Etok, speaking during an oversight tour of the commission, said government should not, under any guise, negotiate salary or wage increase with the union without the input of the relevant commission.
This was as he also cautioned against sentimental negotiation for salary increase in the civil service, stressing that such was the cause of inceasant industrial actions in the country.
“We have said this earlier that on no account should the Federal Government in particular go on negotiation for salary increase or anything that has to do with wages or salary without the input of the commission.
“They should avoid the issue of sentimental increase or negotiation. We should cancel exceptions. Four months is about a semester,” he said.
The senator said the commission should have played a prominent role in the 2009 agreement reached between the government and ASUU.
The Senate committee also flayed the commission on the implementation of 2013 appropriation, adding that its impact was not felt in the crisis that often attended salaries of civil servants.
According to Etok, “the commission might look small, but the importance cannot be over-estimated. We have come to know your level of implementation of the 2013 budget.”
Chairman of the commission, Dr Richard Egbule, had earlier exonerated the commission from the agreement reached between the Federal Government and ASUU.
“When the controversial agreement was reached in 2009, we were there, but not as negotiators. We made it known to them that the route they were going was wrong,” he said.
Egbuke added that the trend in ASUU was that every new leader would attempt to assert himself through industrial action.