The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Kaduna State University (KASU) Chapter, has kicked against the sack of 16 lecturers and two non-academic staff of the university by the state government.

The 18 staff were sacked for participating in the Nigerian Labour Congress’s (NLC) five-day warning strike in the state, between May 17 and May 19.

The Chairman of the Union, Dr Peter Adamu, who stated this in a statement in Kaduna, described the action as illegal.

Adamu said that the illegal attempt to dismiss the 18 staff contravened the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed between the labour Union and Kaduna State Government, on May 20.

He said the MoU explicitly states that no worker shall be victimised for participating in the industrial action.

Adamu noted that the purported sack was a “gross violation” of the MoU by the Kaduna State Government.

He explained that the sack was announced by the Vice Chancellor, Prof. Muhammad Tanko, during the 16th Congregation of the KASU, held on June 2.

“Evidence of the purported action by the university is also contained in a Memo (KASU/REG/061/VOL 1/446) from the university management to Gov. Nasir El-Rufai, through the Commissioner for Education and dated May 20.

“However, the 18 affected members of staff neither received queries nor faced any disciplinary committee, as claimed by the university management in the memo.

“The claim is false and baseless with no evidence to show,’ he said.

Adamu explained that the memo by the vice chancellor also mandated the office of the Accountant General of Kaduna State, to stop remitting the check-off dues of the union.

This, according to him, is against the Trade Unions (Amendment) Act NO. 17 of 2005, that clearly explains Check-off Dues, to be statutorily permitted deductions.

“The Trade Unions Act recognises Check-off Dues as compulsory and automatic for members and does not rely on the pleasure of an employer.

“In spite of the provisions of the laws, the government of Kaduna State and management of KASU illegally, concocted and instituted the purported sack of the staff and stoppage of Check-off Dues.

“This is done without recourse to the University Laws and relevant national and international labour laws,” he said.

The chairman condemned the act and called on the university’s management to rescind its decision.

The Vice-Chancellor Prof Muhammad Tanko had in the letter to El-Rufai, identified 16 Academic staff and two non-academic staff, that participated fully in the NLC strike action.

Tanko had in the letter explained that the names of the affected staff have been forwarded to the office of the Head of Service with completed Exit Variation Forms, for stoppage of their salaries with effect from May 20.

“The procedures for disciplinary actions on proven cases of gross misconduct as contained leads to outright dismissal, involving issuance of a query to the affected staff.

“After the affected staff replies to the query on the allegation labelled against him or her, the affected staff will appear before a Disciplinary Committee.