Chairman, Senate Committee on Establishment and Public Service Matters, Aloysius Etok (Akwa Ibom North) has stated that all negotiations between the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the federal government on salary increment would be null and void without the input of the National Wages and Salaries Commission (NWSC).
He also cautioned against sentiment in the increase of salaries and wages in the civil service due to industrial actions, saying such would further encourage more agitations and strike.
Speaking during an oversight tour of the NSWC Monday, Etok said: "We have said this earlier that on no account should the federal government, in particular, negotiate salary increase or anything that has to do with wages or salary without the input of the commission."
According to him, the commission was expected to have played a prominent role in the 2009 agreement reached between the federal government and ASUU and as such, should be included in all ongoing negotiations with ASUU.
Chairman of the commission, Dr. Richard Egbule, had earlier exonerated the commission from the agreement reached between the federal government and academic union
He said: "The commission has been up and doing in everything concerning wages and salary in this country. When the controversial agreement was reached in 2009, we were there but not as negotiators. We made it known to them that the route they were taking was wrong. Today, I wish to say that ASSU did not go on strike because of salary because we handled that very well.
"What is controversial was the Excess Workload Allowance, but we have asked them to employ more lecturers to avoid excess workload. There has never been a time any agency was asked to go and compute its own salary but they allowed ASUU to do so.”
In addition, he noted that the trend in ASUU now was to resort to strike because every new leader of the union wants to assert himself.
The committee also visited the National Assembly Service Commission where the Chairman of the commission, Dr. Umaru Fika, disclosed that the sum of N2.5 billion was appropriated to them in the 2013 fiscal year.