Pro-chancellors: State universities’ ASUU membership voluntary

Pro-chancellors: State universities’ ASUU membership voluntary
On Monday, the Committee of Provosts of State Universities declared that State Universities could not be forced to carry out the agreement struck between the Federal Government and academics in Federal Universities under the auspices of the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

The provosts also emphasised the necessity for democratising union membership in institutions, stressing that participation in unions at state universities was voluntary.

According to news reports, certain state institutions have come under heat for continuing the strike that ASUU's national body has declared to be in effect.

State universities will not be subject to the terms of the deal between the Federal Government and ASUU, according to Ben Goong, a spokesman for the ministry of education.

However, the ASUU president, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, alongside some state university ASUU chairmen, had kicked against the development claiming that “ASUU is one”.

In a communique made available to newsmen on Monday, the pro-chancellors said, “ The Committee of Pro-Chancellors of State-owned Universities read with alarm and disbelieve a statement made by the President of the ASUU Prof. Emmanuel Osodike on a television programme on Arise, where he said that State Universities are “irrelevant and quacks” on 26th August 2022.

“Our first reaction was to ignore this tendentious, ill-conceived and flagrant unconscionable statement by the President of ASUU, but on reflection, it was thought necessary to do a rejoinder to this rather unfortunate statement having regard to the position of the President of ASUU in the scheme of things in our University system in Nigeria.

“Though COPSUN will not want to go into any diatribe with the President of ASUU, the Committee wishes to state as follows to put records straight:

“That the Pro-Chancellors of our State Universities and indeed members of the councils are distinguished and accomplished eminent persons who served and still serve this Nation in many capacities. Amongst the members are retired Ambassadors, retired Generals in the Armed forces, retired Vice-Chancellors, Senior Advocates of Nigeria, renowned politicians and other distinguished professionals.

“COPSUN wishes to appeal to the President of ASUU to realise that the membership of ASUU is voluntary. Therefore, it is not his ill-informed approach and denigration of state universities that will lead to fashioning out creative approaches to avoid existential extinction that will solve the myriad of problems confronting the University system in Nigeria.

The pro-chancellors added, “The very unfortunate ill-digested view of the President of ASUU had vindicated the position of this Committee on the following issues;

“The negative professionalisation of offices of the Unions that operate in our Universities and the unserious belief among many members of the Unions that the Unions are superior to the Councils of the Universities that are their employers.

“The need for immediate democratisation of the membership of Unions in the universities to the extent of the freedom of any individual to belong to a Union with options of not belonging.

“Devolution of powers on the issues of labour, wages and salaries with freedom of the employers to negotiate with their employees, as practised in other parts of the world, where we borrowed the University system.

“State Universities cannot be forced or coerced to implement agreements reached between the Federal Government and her workers in the Universities to which they are not parties.

“It is time to respect the Federal nature of our government in all matters and not selectively, especially on the issues of salaries and wages”.
Chima Ugo is a patriotic Nigerian, a journalist, blogger and singer who is so much interested in the internet, journalism, and blogging and have been for half a decade.