Give Us More Time To Deliberate Over Strike – ASUU

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has implored the Federal Government of Nigeria to give them more time to deliberate on the ongoing strike and therefore requested to be given till Wednesday to complete consultations with its chapters on their decision over the dispute with Federal Government.

ASUU was expected to inform the federal government latest last Friday on their decision to accept or reject the proposals to end the nine-month-old industrial action by its members.

But Herald.ng inquiries discovered that ASUU has requested for an extension of time till Wednesday as it could not arrange all the branches’ decisions by last Friday.

A source told Herald.ng during the weekend that the union had requested that the meeting slated for last Friday with the federal government negotiating team be moved to Wednesday to allow the union to collate and analyse positions of its branches nationwide.

“ASUU requested for the extension of time for it to hold wider consultations with members and to be able to receive positions of the various branches. They said they should be given till Wednesday to conclude their parley with members,” the source said.

At the last meeting with ASUU in November, the federal government had accepted to pay the lecturers not registered with the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) salary arrears from April to June via the old payment method as a measure of goodwill, awaiting the support of the ASUU-initiated platform, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).

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The Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige, while reporting on the proposals made by the government to ASUU, said the government had earlier brought a total offer of N50 billion to ASUU, N20 billion for revitalisation and N30 billion for earned allowances.

Ngige explained that a new proposal was made to increase the revitalisation fund from N20 billion to N25 billion and for the earned allowances to be increased to N40 billion immediate payment, making a total of N65 billion for revitalisation.

However, it was learnt that ASUU rejected the amount at their last meeting with the government side.
The ASUU requested for N110 billion, which is 50 per cent of a tranche of N220 billion it had earlier demanded but the federal government rejected, citing fund scarcity.

The disagreement made the federal government offer to increase the revitalisation fund to N40 billion while the earned allowances for unions remain N30 billion.

The federal government also assured the Union that it would address the unresolved and establish a new renegotiation team to begin discussions with ASUU on the 2009 agreement.

It was as a result of the new proposal by the federal government that ASUU decided to go back to brief its organs and to give feedback to the government last Friday on whether or not it has accepted the terms to call off the strike.

But initial reports from the congresses held by ASUU branches last week to endorse the agreement revealed a discrepancy of views.
While some accepted the government’s offer, most of them were said to be demanding full payment of their salary arrears up to November before suspending the strike.

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