ASUU: why we have not called off strike

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The Academic Staff Union of Universities has explained why lecturers are yet to call off their eight-month-old strike.

 

Its leadership said the Federal Government has neither implemented nor fulfilled any of the offers it made to ASUU.

For instance, the union explained that the salaries of its members withheld by the government have not been paid despite the latest offer from the government negotiating team.

The government, in its latest offers to ASUU leadership, pledged to pay N40 billion as Earned Allowance and N30 billion for the revitalisation of the university system, bringing the total payment to N70 billion.

The government also agreed to settle the arrears of salaries of the lecturers before December 2020, but after due consultation with the government side.

It also accepted the demand by ASUU that they be exempted from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) pending the approval of their proposed payment system, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).

Before the government introduced the IPPIS to the union last year, the lecturers were receiving their pay through the Government Integrated Financial Management Information System (GIFMIS).

ASUU President Prof Biodun Ogunyemi said yesterday that its members would not return to class on empty stomachs.

He said some of the offers made by government had timelines which the government was yet to implement.

Ogunyemi said: “We are still consulting but certainly before the end of this week we will report to the minister the findings and feedback from our members.

“The offers people are talking about are proposals that have timeless and some of these things are expected to have been happening. If those things they promised with the timeline can happen before we conclude our consultation I think the process will go smoother.

“A concrete example is the payment of our members’ salaries which have not been paid. If people are not paid I don’t think anybody will be willing to go back to work and other things that have timeline that we expect government to implement.

“You don’t expect people, after eight months, to go back to the classrooms on empty stomach. That is where we are.

“Before the end of this new week we will get back to government but we keep on telling them each time they contact us that they (government) should fulfill their own part of the bargain, things that have timelines.”

Labour and Employment Minister Chris Ngige, who is leader of the government team, could not be reached last night for comments as calls and text to his phone were not returned as of the time of filing this report.


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