Fresh from a student protest that made the authorities to close the school, the Lagos State University (LASU) is in the throes of another crisis as its lecturers have declared a trade dispute and given the institution a 21-day ultimatum to meet its demands.
The university’s chapter of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), said in a bulletin titled ‘Declaration of a Trade Dispute’ that the decision to give the ultimatum was taken at a congress of the union and that it would embark on an indefinite strike if the demands were not met at the expiration of the ultimatum.
The authorities of the troubled school only reopened it on Monday, February 17 after a three weeks forced closure that followed a violent student protest. The violent protest of January 23 disrupted semester examinations due to have started on the day.
The notice dated April 1 and signed by its Chairman, Dr. Adekunle Idris, stated: “We hereby give a 21-day ultimatum effective from March 24, to the governing council to implement all matters already agreed.
“At the expiration of this ultimatum, the union will embark on a total, indefinite and comprehensive strike, if its demands are not met,” the union said.
According to the union, the trade dispute was declared as a result of the non-implementation of some demands, on which the management and the union had reached agreements in the past 12 months.
It said its members are disappointed that the Lagos State Government has insisted on retaining the excessive school fees in the institution despite the dwindling enrollment figure, adding: “This policy contradicts the objective of establishing the institution.
“It is not sustainable and portends great danger to the citizens of Lagos State who are desirous of tertiary education,” the union said in the bulletin.
The union also noted that it was displeased with the continuous use of the ‘no vacancy, no promotion policy’ of the present administration to stifle career advancement of its members.
In additon, the union also criticised the partial implementation of the Universities (Miscellaneous Provisions) (Amendment) Act of 2012 in LASU, declaring that it is an act of inequality.
“This is an Act currently being implemented in all Federal Universities and in almost all State Universities in Nigeria,” the union bulletin said.
It stated that the meeting between the union and the various stakeholders of the institution to resolve the issues at stake was unproductive.