The Academic Staff Union of Nigerian University (ASUU), LASU branch, has commenced an indefinite strike.
The union announced the commencement of the total, comprehensive and indefinite strike at a press conference held on Tuesday, at the institution’s Ojoo campus in Lagos.
Addressing newsmen during the press conference, Chairman of the union, Dr Adekunle Idris, explained that the academic staff of the university were withdrawing their services to embark on a total, comprehensive and indefinite strike action until the three core demands of the union were met.
The three core demands, according to him, were: a reversal of the LASU school fees regime; repeal of the ‘no vacancy, no promotion’ policy of the LASU administration and the implementation of the universities (Miscellaneous Provision) (Amendment) Act, 2012 in LASU.
Idris also said that in the last two years, the union had observed several problems confronting LASU and a number of practices in the administration of LASU that were deemed unacceptable to the academic community; “particularly in a university aiming to be a university of first choice.”
“By our collective assessment, these developments are inimical to long term prosperity of the university, the students for whom the institution was established and the career advancement of ASUU members.”
He further explained that the union met at different times with the university administration, the Governing Council, the Pro-Chancellor, the Chancellor, the Ad-hoc committee on the LASU crisis, the parent forum and all concern without resolving the core issues at stake.
The union had in the past weeks, declared a trade dispute with an initial 21-day ultimatum effective Monday, March 24, which expired on Sunday, April 13. It gave another 14-day ultimatum which also expired on April 29 but there were no acknowledgment nor responses from LASU governing council nor the Lagos State government during those periods, the union leader revealed.
According to him, at the meeting, ASUU LASU provided convincing evidence that the governing council had the authority to implement the new retirement age for academics on the professional cadre, as well as the need to abrogate the “No vacancy, No promotion” policy.
He also said the branch proposed a school fee regime of N50,000 maximum across board for all students against the current fees being charged which has been termed “outrageous and unaffordable” by various stakeholders.
“In the absence of any concrete progress in the resolution of the core demands, the National Executive Council at its meeting, held at the University of Ibadan, authorised the branch to embark on a total, comprehensive and indefinite strike action to actualise the resolution of the core demands of the branch.”
“It is a sad decision. We are compelled to take this decision and have taken it with every sense of responsibility. We are well prepared for the usual phases of engagement with authorities in Nigeria,” Idris said.