ASUU Mulls Ending Strike Today as Union, FG Meet

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•Lists terms to suspend industrial action

By Onyebuchi Ezigbo

The leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) may suspend its nine-month industrial action today, THISDAY learnt yesterday.

The suspension of the strike is, however, predicated on the condition that the federal government will show evidence that it has met three conditions to be marshalled out by the ASUU leadership at the meeting with the government side later today (Tuesday).

THISDAY investigations showed that all branches of ASUU in the federal universities met yesterday where majority of them resolved to call off the strike with a condition that the government pays at least two months out of their salary arrears between yesterday and today and then to offset the remaining by the end of January 2021.

A source privy to yesterday’s meeting said: “All depends on the evidence that the government negotiating team will present at their meeting later on Tuesday showing proof that it has met the conditions contained in their agreement.

“Part of the conditions given by the lecturers to call off the strike are that N70 billion offered by the federal government for earned allowances and revitalisation fund should be paid into the accounts of various universities’ bursaries by Tuesday. Also, the government is expected to have paid at least two months’ salaries by Tuesday. We resolved to mandate the ASUU leadership to announce the suspension of the strike once they are satisfied that the conditions have been met.”

The meeting of the branch organs of ASUU, which was held simultaneously in all the federal universities across the country yesterday ended by noon.

THISDAY also gathered that the various chapters were expected to submit their resolutions to the national headquarters of ASUU for collation and final analysis before today’s meeting with the federal government team.

It was learnt that both ASUU and the government side reached an agreement not to involve the media in their latest deal to avoid “distraction”.

Negotiations to end the over nine months’ strike by the lecturers had lingered for months with ASUU insisting that its members would not register on the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

However, the federal government made spirited attempts to break the deadlock by granting ASUU members temporary waiver not to receive their payments through IPPIS.

It agreed to pay all the arrears of salaries of lecturers accumulated during their strike.

The move was followed by an equally attractive offer to set aside N70 billion, N40 billion for earned allowances and N30 billion for revitalisation fund.

Meanwhile, the federal government has fixed a meeting with the striking university lecturers for today.

A statement signed by the Deputy Director Public Relations at the Ministry of Labour and Employment, Mr. Charles Akpan, said the rescheduled meeting was convened by the minister, Senator Chris Ngige.