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Strike: We’ve met 80% of ASUU’s demands – FG
The federal government has criticized the decision of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) to further extend its ongoing strike action, claiming that it had met 80 percent of the union’s demands.
ASUU earlier on Monday, further extended its over six months old strike, citing lack of commitment from the government.
The action of ASUU came after its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting which took place at its University of Abuja Secretariat.
But reacting to the development, the federal government it had addressed 80 percent of the union’s demands, noting that the extension of strike was unreasonable.
The Federal Ministry of Education, speaking through its Director of Press and Public Relations, Bem Goong, said: “If you bring some demands and almost 80% have been attended to, there is no need to drag the strike anymore.”
According to him,“It is unreasonable for the strike to be lingering since the government has worked towards fulfilling most of the demands.”
Goong, who said the federal government had deployed all measures to end the strike, explained that, “As regards the next steps, the government has already inaugurated a committee to harmonize the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System,IPPIS, University Transparency and Accountability Solution,UTAS and the University Peculiar Personnel and Payroll System,U3PS.
He explained that, “This will ensure that the government will pay with only one payment platform that will harmonize all the technical peculiarities.”
Recall that the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu Adamu, had last week, claimed that government had resolved most of the demands ASUU.
5Among the demands addressed, according to Adamu,was the release of N50 billion for the payment of earned allowances for academic and non-academic and non-academic staff of universities.
ASUU Extends Ongoing Strike
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has extended its ongoing strike action, leaving students stranded and out of school.
The union made the decision at its national executive council meeting held at the University of Abuja on Monday morning.
ASUU strike began in February and has been renewed since then.
The lecturers are demanding improved investment in public universities, better welfare and others.
SSANU, NASU suspend strike for two months
The Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Allied and Education Institutions on Saturday suspended their ongoing strike for a period of two months.
SSANU’s national president, Muhammed Ibrahim disclosed this in an interview with Punch in Abuja.
“Yes, we have suspended the strike for a period of two months”, Ibrahim told our correspondent via a telephone call.
Like the Academic Staff Union of Universities, SSANU and NASU had also embarked on strike.
The unions had called for the renegotiation of the 2009 agreement, payment of earned allowances, usurpation of non-academic career positions by vice-chancellors, the inclusion of university staff school into the university community, non-payment of minimum wage arrears, and funding of state universities.
A committee set up by the Federal Government and headed by the Emeritus Professor, Nimi Briggs had engaged in negotiations with the two unions.
Though Ibrahim did not disclose the demands of the unions which had been met, the minister of education, Adamu Adamu during a press briefing with state house correspondents last Thursday noted that the government had reached agreements with all the university based unions except ASUU which the minister claimed was requesting for payment of backlog of salaries, Punch reported.
The strike by SSANU and NASU has led to suspension in the issuance of academic transcripts; mobilisation of graduates for the compulsory one year service organized by the National Youth Service Corps.
ASUU Strike: Lecturers’ union rejects government’s salary increase offer
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Michael Okpara University of Agriculture, Umudike in Abia has described the federal government’s Consolidated Academic Salary Structure (CONUASS) as “unilateral”, hence unacceptable.
The group’s position is contained in a statement jointly issued by the Chairman and Secretary of the union, Michael Ugwuene and Paul Nwiyi, and made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Umuahia on Saturday.
The statement is entitled, “Failure of Government: Collective bargaining agreement is the way forward.”
It stated that CONUASS awarded increases of 35 per cent and 25 per cent of current salaries to professors and other ranks, respectively.
It argued that the review was prepared by the National Salaries, Income and Wages Commission and presented to the Prof. Nimi-Briggs-led FG/ASUU Renegotiation Committee, without inputs from ASUU.
“The crux of this matter is that the award is unilateral and a total breach of the provisions of all national and international legislations on which the Collective Bargaining Agreement is based,” the group stated.
It stated that the renegotiation process ought to have the input of both government and ASUU teams as required by the Trade Dispute Act of 1976; ILO Conventions 49 of 1948, amongst others.
“A negotiated salary, needless to say, affords industrial harmony because the worker has made an input.
“A negotiated salary is a right, an awarded salary is potentially arbitrary and is just that: an award,” the statement added.
It further stated that none of the issues that precipitated the six-month-old strike, including salary, had been squarely addressed.
“Not even the issues that have no financial implications, like a commitment to adopt UTAS and the release of the Visitation Panel White Paper to the respective universities,” it added.
The group frowned at the committee’s resolve to push the payment of the Earned Academic Allowances to the individual universities.
It further expressed concern that rather than apply for a supplementary budget for its N170 billion revitalisation pledge, the federal government decided to shift the fund to the 2023 budget.
The union, therefore, called on well-meaning Nigerians to appeal to the government to quickly resume and conclude the ongoing re-negotiation “to enable our students go back to campuses.”