Prof. Olanrewaju Fagbohun, Vice-Chancellor, Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, has appealed to the members of the institution’s Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to desist from creating tension or undue negative attention to the institution.
The VC stated this in an appeal via the university’s social media platform in apparent reaction to the emergence of posters, bills and messages on different platforms on the issue of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA).
Fagbohun (SAN) in the appeal said, “Very distinguished colleagues and LASU Community at large, we are once again at a critical period of our history where we cannot afford to get it wrong. For some time now, certain officers of the Academic Staff Union of Universities in LASU (ASUU – LASU) have pasted around our campus as well as on the social media posters bills that are regrettably aimed at creating a tense atmosphere and attracting undue negative attention to ourselves. The issue at hand is the Earned Academic Allowances (EAA).
“First, it is very important to underscore the resolute commitment of the current university administration to staff welfare and development. This is evident in the timely payment of monthly salaries, bonuses/arrears and conduct of promotion exercises since the inception of the current university administration.”
The VC stated that the management of the institution understood the need to constantly do more not only in the area of ensuring the payment of EAA but also in other aspects that are related to the welfare of staff of the university, saying that the EAA had been the flashpoint of nationwide strike called by the national body of the union.
He urged members of the union not to take advantage of the ongoing strike to spark off crisis in the university but to emulate their colleagues from other institutions that have chosen the path of honour through constructive engagement of their respective varsity authorities.
Reacting to the position of the Vice-Chancellor, Secretary to the union, Dr. Tony Dansu, who claimed knowledge of the posters, said the indifference by the management of the university to the EAA issue had forced the union to take its request to the public domain.
He said, “It is on the basis of this that the Exco decided, acting in line with Congress directives, to take its case to the public domain in the hope that this will at least touch the conscience of the administration, and put an end to the attitude of indifference and scorn showed to this matter of utmost importance to academic staff in LASU.”
Dansu explained that successive ASUU-LASU under different leadership has made a case for the payment of the allowances and avoid an accumulation that may prove burdensome, saying the institution was yet to pay a fraction.
“These pleas were ignored by successive administrations. The earned academic allowances it should be noted was part of the negotiated emoluments of academic staff, whose payment was deferred by the university when it started to implement the new salary structure.
“No one in his or her wildest imagination expected the university to accumulate the allowances for a period of almost a decade,” he added.
However, an alumnus of the university, Chief Bola Popoola, has appealed to the two sides to cease exchange of words, allow the present relaxed atmosphere to subsist and called on the management to shift-ground a little.