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ASUU Weighs Options as Warning Strike Nears End
Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja
The leadership of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is considering whether to discontinue it’s three month old roll-over warning strike or to suspend it.
The union held a meeting of the National Executive Council (NEC) in Abuja on Sunday to assess the situation.
Although the outcome of their meeting was not made known to the public as at last night, THISDAY learnt that ASUU is hoping to extract further commitment from government on the issue of approval for it’s choice salary payment platform, University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) and improved conditions of service before proposing to it’s members to call off the strike.
A source within the ASUU leadership told THISDAY that the meeting which was in response to report of President Muhammadu Buhari’s approval for the release of N456 billion from TETFUND to the federal government tertiary institutions, also tried to prepare a response in the event that they are summoned to meeting.
Another reason given for the meeting was that ASUU needed to reassess it’s position in view of the offers being made by government to bring strike to an end.
However, another source ruled out the possibility of an immediate suspension of strike, saying that the University teachers were bent on securing a deal on the new salary and conditions of service before they can go back to work.
The ASUU said the union is putting together all the issues and will be reaching back to it’s members through Zonal meetings to decide on the next move after the exhaustion of the second roll over strike by next weekend.
Apart from the approval of funds for revitalization of infrastructure in the institutions, goverment said that both the reports of the Visitation Panels to the Universities and the Commitee on renegotiation of salaries and conditions of service have submitted.
Minister of Labour and Employment Senator Chris Ngige said last week during a meeting with the Non-academic Staff of the Universities that government’s White Paper on the Visitation Panels is ready and will soon be released.
He also said the Commitee on renegotiation of the 2009 agreement has concluded it’s work.
THISDAY learnt at tye weekend that government was about to summon ASUU to a meeting to present new offers based on the recommendations of the Prof. Mimi Briggs-led re-negotiation commitee.