LASU ASUU Chapter Gives Another 7-day Ultimatum

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Lagos State University (LASU) chapter, on Thursday said it had given the institution’s a seven-day ultimatum to address its demands.

The Chairman of the union, Dr Adekunle Idris, who made this known to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, said the ultimatum became effective on Wednesday.

NAN reports that the ultimatum is the third since March 24 when the union issued a 14-day deadline for the university’s authorities to reverse the increase in school fees charged the students.

The union had contended that the hike in fee had accounted for drop in student enrolment in the institution.

The lecturers also expressed dissatisfaction over the “no vacancy, no promotion” policy of the university and the non-implementation of the 2009 University Miscellaneous Provision Act, already operational in other universities.

At the expiration of the first ultimatum on April 7, a 21-day deadline was given to the authorities and it elapsed on April 30 without the university’s management addressing the issues.

In the fresh deadline, Idris told NAN that the lecturers would embark on a comprehensive and indefinite strike if management continued to ignore the union.

NAN recalls that when the first deadline was given by the union, the Vice Chancellor, Prof. John Obafunwa, had appealed to the lecturers not to down tools.

Obafunwa promised that efforts were ongoing to meet their demands, adding that only three out of the 20 demands by the union were yet to be met.

The vice chancellor urged the union to embrace dialogue.

The ASUU chairman said that the fresh ultimatum was another opportunity for the university to meet the union’s demands, and decried the management’s nonchalance toward the issues.

He said the institution’s governing council, which was their employer, had not invited the union for dialogue since the initial trade dispute was declared.

“It was only the Chancellor, Sir Okoya Thomas, that invited us for a meeting towards the end of the initial 21-day ultimatum issued and he promised to bring the issue to a logical conclusion, we are yet to hear from him.

“The parents’ forum also met the union on April 29 and promised to discuss with the government not to allow the issue result into a strike,’’ he said.

Idris said the union had been considerate enough to narrow down its 20 demands into three, “yet the management finds it impossible to meet them”.

He said that the union declared the trade dispute to fulfil all the regulations of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) by giving the grace for dialogue before opting for strike.

According to him, it is almost certain that the union will embark on strike, judging by the levity with which the management, governing council and state government are handling the issue. (NAN)

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Olusegun Fapohunda

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