The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has assured that it is willing to call off its 7-month-old strike if concrete agreements were reached with the Federal Government.
The lecturers’ union called for an urgent engagement with the government to resolve outstanding issues and even asked for an open meeting so that Nigerians can see what they are discussing.
This was made known by the President of ASUU, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, on Thursday in Abuja while speaking at a National Town Hall Meeting on Tertiary Education tagged: ‘The Locked Gates of our Citadels -A National Emergency.’
What the ASUU President is saying
Osodeke said, “On all these issues, we have given the government a minimum that we can accept, but they have not responded on the issue of revitilisation, on the issue of earned allowance and on issues that we have all discussed.
”We negotiated and agreed that they should sign and this is very simple, not more than one day.
”On UTAS and IPPIS , we say release the report of the test you did and let’s look at the one who came first and take it as we agreed. So we have given them the minimum we want and we have to come down and they can do it in one day if there is a will.’’
The ASUU President emphasized on the union’s commitment to return to school if the Federal Government puts its proposal on the table, saying that negotiation could be reached if the government was willing.
He said, “If the government loves this country, these children and their parents, then they should come to the table and let us resolve these issues in one day.
“Just as we did in 2014, they should come and ensure that we do that, we can even have the meeting openly so that Nigeria will see what we are discussing.’’
Criticizes FG’s court action against ASUU
Osodeke expressed sadness over the lingering strike resulting to government taking the union to court.
He said that suing the union was not an option as it would further worsen the situation of the students and tertiary education in the country, adding that if the court forces the lecturers to return to school, they won’t force them to teach with open minds, saying that the students would definitely be at the receiving end.
He commended the Committee of Vice Chancellors and Pro-Chancellors for stepping in to resolve the issues as well as called on parents and students to appeal to the government to do the needful so that the strike would come to an end once and for all, rather than attacking the union.
What you should know
- ASUU had on February 14, 2022, embarked on a 4-week total and comprehensive strike to press home their unresolved demands on the federal government.
- Some of the lecturers’ demands include funding for the revitalisation of public universities, which amounts to N1.1 trillion, payment of earned academic allowances, and adoption of the University Transparency Accountability Solution (UTAS) as a preferred payment option, instead of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), payment of promotion arrears and the renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU-FGN Agreement.
- The Federal Government’s Briggs renegotiation committee, had since April 2022, been meeting with ASUU and other labour unions in the universities, who went on strike due to its dispute with the government and non-resolution of demands of the 2009 agreements signed with the federal government.
- Minister of Education Adamu Adamu, who insisted on a no-work, no-pay policy had earlier said that the insistence of ASUU on the payment of the withheld salaries was stalling negotiations by the parties.
- After several extensions of the industrial action, ASUU remained adamant in its resolve to press on with its demand as it now declared an indefinite, total, and comprehensive strike on August 30 over the failure of government to meet its demands.
- The Federal Government had on September 12, dragged ASUU to the National Industrial Court over the union’s prolonged strike action which is about 7 months old after negotiation with ASUU leadership failed
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