Reports have emerged that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) may meet with the Federal Government this week to discuss about the ongoing strike embarked upon by the union.
ASUU, an umbrella body of all university lecturers in the country, is currently on strike over the federal government’s failure to fulfil its 2009/2013 agreement with the union.
The union embarked on the strike on August 13 over issues of poor funding, welfare of its members and the failure of the federal government to honour aspects of past agreements it had with its members.
The leadership of the union met on Friday, August 25, at the National Executive Council meeting, with the aim to determine the direction of the ongoing national strike.
In the meeting, all the branches were told to submit their respective reports to the national body who will take a final decision.
Specifically, the national branches were given three options by the national body to choose from at their deliberations, which are: to continue with the strike action, suspend the action or, ‘positively review the federal government proposal.’
The Punch is reporting that the union would present its position to the government on the offers made by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, during their meeting on August 17, 2017 in Abuja.
The FG had during the meeting with ASUU leadership in Abuja offered to pay N23bn and a monthly payment of N1.5bn pending the outcome of the forensic audit being carried out by the Ministry of Finance.
It could not be immediately ascertained if the money had been paid as promised by the government.
At the meeting of the union, it was gathered that over 80 per cent of the union members across the country voted that the strike should continue until the government fulfilled its part of the bargain.
A source, who spoke on the development, said: “The ASUU meeting which held last Saturday at UniAbuja discussed the offers made by the government and whether the strike should be called off on the basis of the offers made by the government.
“It was decided that ASUU might seek an audience with the government this week to negotiate further concessions before the strike is called off.”
Meanwhile, the online newspaper also reported that findings on Sunday showed that university lecturers who were employed after 2010 would not benefit from the N23bn Earned Academic Allowances released by the Federal Government.
A source in ASUU in the South-West said, “There was an ASUU NEC meeting held on Friday in Abuja. Our zonal chairmen would be briefed on the outcome of deliberations on the NEC meeting particularly on the N23bn which was offered by the Federal Government.
“The about nine zones of ASUU will be meeting on Monday (today) to brief their members on the outcome of their deliberations concerning the ongoing strike over the 2009 agreement by the Federal Government.
“Top on the agenda to be discussed includes the N23bn which the government had recently agreed to pay. The N23bn is the arrears of 2009 and 2010. So, anybody that was employed after 2010 may not even benefit from it because that person did not earn it. The money is called Earned Academic Allowance, so you must have worked for the money and earned it.
“The money is just like overtime and it is paid for somebody that had done that work, not the normal working hours. It is earned and (exclusively) for 2009 and 2010. The Federal Government made an offer and collected views from all branches as to what they will do concerning the N23bn offer.”