NIGERIA: ASUU calls off five-week old strike

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has suspended its five weeks old strike.

While directing all academic staffers of universities to resume work immediately, ASUU President, Biodun Ogunyemi, was quick to warn that the suspension of the strike is conditional.

“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.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, who led the government team and served as conciliator read the agreement after another round of marathon meeting last night.

Speaking after the agreement was signed, 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.”

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