– The Academic Staff Union of Universities and the federal government will be meeting on Monday, January 21
– The duo will be meeting to resume talks on how to end the lingering strike that has left students idle since November 4, 2018
– Among other things, ASUU is demanding for improved funding of universities and implementation of previous agreements with the government
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the federal government will be meeting on Monday, January 21, to resume talks on how to resolve the impasse over the two-month-old industrial action.
The disclosure was made on Friday, January 18, by the national president of the union, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, Punch reports.
He said: “I’ am afraid nothing new. I understand they will be meeting us on Monday. Let’s wait and see if they take a reasonable step; it will determine our next line of action. Until then, let’s wait and see.”
Recall that the ASUU president had earlier said the union was tired of government’s failed promises.
He said: “Last year, they promised to release the funds but they did not until November when the strike began. Our members are saying they do not want promises again; what they want is action, implementation or disbursement of funds.
“The government must act in a way to convince the union that the agreement has not been set aside. To show that the government has not set aside the agreement, they should release one tranche.”
“We are going to have a discussion on when to commence renegotiation because there are still grey areas. If the government can substantially address these issues, we will be more confident to face our members on the way forward. For now, the signals we are getting is that our members do not actually want to accept this government proposal from us.”
However, a source who craved anonymity at the ministry of labour and employment, blamed ASUU for the lingering strike.
According to the source, the federal government has shown commitment to the union’s demands. The source said it was better to start from what the FG had offered than halting negotiation.
The source added: “The Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, had told the leadership of ASUU that the FG would accept many of their demands but flexibility is needed to implement the rest.
“They left the meeting happy and said they would discuss the progress with their other organs. But they had delayed in moving forward. The blame is no longer on the FG. ASUU should come forward with what they think of the FG’s commitment so far.”
The union in a series of tweet on its official Twitter handle said the payment for the institutions would fall in line with previous agreements made between the FG and the union.
It also said that the N50 billion would be added to the N20 billion earlier released by the federal government for the year.