The Presiding Judge, Ibadan Judicial Division of the National Industrial Court, Hon. Justice Dele Peters has declared that members of NASU and SSANU of Obafemi Awolowo University are not entitled to the payment of 2 steps, 22% salary differential contained in the “NASU Catalogue of demands” dated 16 April 2012 and no stipulation of a 15% salary increase on Harmonized Teaching Salary Scale.
The Court held that no evidence that the Basic Salary being paid to the members of the Unions differ from other comparable Federal Universities, and maintained that such a claim certainly must be supported by a Government circular or at least some correspondences.
The Court declared that the continuous act of threats and intimidation by the NASU, SSANU, and their members against the Obafemi Awolowo University Administration to forcefully make the institution pay the alleged 2 steps/22% salary differential as illegal, unwarranted, and unconstitutional, and should be stopped immediately.
The Court granted an order restraining the unions and their members from embarking on further strike or any kind of industrial actions in connection with the claims contained in the letters dated 13 March 2012 and 16 April 2012.
From facts, the Claimant- Obafemi Awolowo University submitted that it had paid all that is due to the Union members under the extant Federal Government circulars and no government circular in support of the counterclaims and no need for strike and intimidation.
In defense, the Unions had averred that they were being short-changed by the University in the payment of appropriate salaries and allowances as obtainable in other Federal Government Universities and pension deductions were being made by the University after the same had been deducted at source in Abuja.
They averred that there was a circular directing payment of 15% increase across the board; that Federal Universities operate on a uniform salary scale, tendered several pay slips from other Universities showing that the Claimant was paying 2 steps below other Universities on the same salary scale.
The learned Counsel to the Unions submitted that staging of strike is permissible under the Laws, maintained that the prayers sought by the University are invitation to violate the constitutionally guaranteed right of the Unions, and prayed the Court to refuse the reliefs sought and grant the counterclaim.
In reply, Counsel to the University averred that no circular in support of the 15% salary increase and the University cannot implement salary increment without circular or proper instruction from the appropriate agency of the Federal Government, urged the Court to resolve all the issues in favour of the University and grant all the reliefs sought.
Delivering the judgment after careful evaluation of the submissions of both parties, the presiding Judge, Justice Dele Peters held that there was no stipulation of a 15% salary increase on Harmonized Teaching Salary Scale and members of the Defendants could not be entitled to such claim.
The Court held that there is no legal and legitimate basis for the strike that led to the institution of the case and declared the strike action embarked upon by the Defendants and their union members as illegal and unjustified.
Justice Peters declared the strike action embarked upon by the Defendants and their union members as illegal and not justified.
“Usually strikes are actions to which trade unions or organized labour union is entitled for the purpose of pressing legitimate demands from their employers. The demands must be legitimate otherwise such an industrial action will not find the support of the Court.”
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