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ASUU agreed to end strike yesterday – FG



No, we didn’t – ASUU

THE federal government has disclosed that Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) agreed to end the nine-month-old strike by lecturers on Tuesday, after they accepted offers by government.

  Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, stated this while explaining that  ASUU gave the promise in their last meeting with the government team on November 27, saying government has kept its own promise.

  According to Ngige, ASUU agreed to call off their strike before December 9.

  “The truth of the matter is that a ‘gentleman agreement’ was reached at the last meeting in which ASUU agreed to call off the strike before December 9, 2020, and the minister, in turn, agreed that once the strike is called off, he would get a presidential waiver for ASUU to be paid the remainder of their salaries on or before December 9,”Ngige stated.

  He therefore described as false ASUU’s public statements that the government agreed to pay all withheld salaries before it would resume work, stressing that the time lines attached to the various offers made to the union had been complied with.

  “The N40b Earned Academic Allowances have also been processed just as the N30bn revitalisation funds, bringing it to N70bn. Likewise, the visitation panels for the universities have been approved by the President but the panel cannot perform its responsibilities until the shut universities are re-opened. The gazetting is also being rounded off at the Office of the Attorney-General of the Federation while the Ministry of Education is ready to inaugurate the various visitation panels,” the minister stated.

  Ngige also disclosed that lecturers were paid for February and March, after which it was extended to April, May and June.

  But ASUU yesterday, gave conditions that must be satisfied before calling off strike.

  Stressing that lecturers did not reach any understanding with the government to suspend the strike on December 9, President of ASUU, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi said the union representatives only told government delegation that it would take the government’s offer to the branches through the various organs of the union and report back.

  According to him, there was nothing in the government offer of November 27, 2020, to suggest that conclusion as allegedly claimed by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.

  “The leadership of ASUU has been inundated with enquiries on why the ongoing strike action has not been suspended. This was sequel to the widely reported claims by some government agents that all the demands of ASUU have been met and that the union agreed to suspend the strike action today, 9th December, 2020.

Nothing can be farther from the truth! To put the records straight, the Principal Officers and Trustees who constitute the core of representatives of ASUU at negotiation meetings with government are not constitutionally empowered to suspend any strike action. Whatever comes out of an engagement with agents of the government is an offer which must be taken back to the branches through the various organs of the union,” he said.

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