BREAKING: Again! No Agreement Yet to Suspend Strike ― ASUU

ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, and President Muhammadu Buhari
ASUU, the Academic Staff Union of Universities, has refuted a news story that it decided to call off the ongoing strike on Friday after meeting with the government negotiating team headed by Senator Chris Ngige, Minister of Labour and Employment.

At the meeting in the Conference Hall of the Ministry of Labour and Jobs, the Federal Government reportedly increased its offer to university-based unions for Received Allowances (EA) and funding for the revitalization of public universities from N65 billion to N70 billion.

There was a news article that ASUU gave an impression that after a meeting with the leadership of the union and its organs, the meeting, the strike that began in March will soon be called off.

According to the paper, after the government promised to pay N40 billion for received allowances and N30 billion for the revitalization of the university system, bringing the total payment to N70 billion, the university teachers decided to call off the strike.

It was further announced that the Government had decided to resolve the lecturers’ salary arrears before 31 December.

The report also stated that it was planned that ASUU would report the agreement to its organs and then convey its decision to the government after which a date would be declared for the calling off of the strike.

It cited a source within the university union that ASUU insisted that before its representatives had accepted it the agreement to call off the strike could not be revealed.

But the President of the ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, denied knowledge of any deal to call off the strike, stressing that it was only decided at the meeting that the union could relay the message of the government to their bodies and return to the government.

Prof. Ogunyemi, said:

”I am not aware of that. All I know is that we had a meeting and we are going to report to our members. But I don’t know about suspension of strike”.

A source in the Ministry of Labour and Employment, however, said that the minister, Senator Ngige, who described the meeting as “fruitful,” added after the meeting that the government had made a proposal to ASUU that it would take back its members.

Ngige told reporters after the meeting that,

“Many issues were discussed at the meeting including salary shortfall, the payment system and revitalization of the university system. I am positive that all the issues would be resolved at our next meeting.”

The meeting on Friday was about the seventh time that both sides met to discuss the issues in dispute after the university union went on strike on March 23.

Following last Friday’s meeting on November 20, the government decided to exclude ASUU members who were not enrolled in the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) and place them on the Government Integrated Financial and Management Information System (GIFMIS) before the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) is accepted by ASUU’s preferred payment forum.

IPPIS has been repeatedly dismissed by ASUU, stressing that it would erode the university system’s autonomy.

Source The Gazette Nigeria