ASUU Agreed To Resume Dec 9 – FG
The federal government has revealed it had reached an agreement with the Academic Staff Union of Universities’ (ASUU) to call off the nine months strike and return to the classroom on December 9, saying it is a breach of the agreement that the union would insist on payment of all salary arrears before returning to the classroom.
Recall that ASUU had earlier accused the federal government of delaying negotiations that would end the strike, stressing that it would not call off the strike if backlog of salaries were not paid.
“FG should not expect us to resume without releasing our salaries. They gave a timeline and we are monitoring, once the timeline expires this week, our members will take a final decision. If they pay the withheld salaries, it will make the process easier to handle,” it had stated.
But in Tuesday’s statement from the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, he debunked ASUU’s comments, saying that government had complied with all agreement with the union.
He stressed that ASUU’s insistence that all salaries must be paid before the strike could be called off was not in the agreement.
“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.
“The minister later invited ASUU to a virtual conciliatory meeting which they turned down. He further requested them to show good faith over the five months salaries government made to them by returning to the classroom and start virtual and online teaching as being done by private universities, while government sorts out the rest of their requests, they also refused.
“They were paid for February and March after which it was extended to April, May and June, months they were on strike on compassionate ground, bringing it to five months.
“It is, therefore, unbelievable that ASUU President claimed that government agreed to pay outright the entire money of the period of the strike to them, even for staying at home and refusing to do either virtual teaching or research,” he said.