The ASUU President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi announced after a meeting with the union’s executives that they would suspend the industrial action for one month till end of October.
Abiodun said this was to allow government to address all pending issues as requested in it’s latest proposal.
He said “After an elaborate and an exhaustive consultation process, the National Executive Council of ASUU has agreed to conditionally suspend the ongoing strike action; taking into cognisance that the latest proposal from the government to address the pending issues in the strike action has a deadline of the end of October 2017,” Ogunyemmi said in Abuja last night.
“All members of ASUU are to resume work after their branch congresses tomorrow 19th September 2017.”
“However, ASUU will not hesitate to review his position if government reneges on its signed memorandum of action which we all witnessed today.”
Ogunyemi noted that ASUU would not be held responsible for anything that happens again if the government fails to implement the agreement reached.
After weeks of negotiations and meetings between the Federal Government and ASUU, an agreement christened “Memorandum of Action,” was signed between the parties yesterday.
reacting on the backdrop of the agreement, The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, said: “We have made a lot of progress and today we have considerably dealt with all the grey areas to the satisfaction of ASUU.”
He added: “This is a labour negotiation, we have produced what we called collective agreement with government but for ASUU it is called Memorandum of Action because they want implementation not paperwork
“We have done this document and you have watched all of us signed this document and this is a document that instils the various conciliation meetings that we have had here.
“We understand ourselves and have agreed on many issues in the spirit of give and take. Government will implement this document and as I have assured ASUU, this government is a government of change. We are not like other governments in the past.
“We are facing a real economic downturn in the country, the earnings of the country has gone down.”
On the terms of the agreement, Ngige explained: “We agreed on funding for the revitalisation of universities, we also agreed on the earned allowances, we agreed on government responsibility as regards to the university staff schools, we agreed on pension, we agreed on salary shortfalls. We also reached agreement on TSA and ASUU agreed on the exemption in the areas given to them. ASUU is going back to consult their members with a view of calling off this strike which has gone into the fifth week.
“We hope we will hear a good news from them in the next 24 hours so that our children can go back to school. They have negotiated very well.”
It will be recalled that members of ASUU had embarked on indefinite strike on Aug. 13, following government’s failure to implement the agreement reached with the union in Nov. 2016.
ASUU’s demands include the disputed registration of the Nigerian Universities Pension Management Company, fractionalisation of salaries in Federal Universities, gross under-funding and non-funding of State Universities.
Others are arrears and implementation of Earned Academic Allowances, release of fund for revitalization of public universities as spelt out in the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding, among others.