The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, will determine whether to accept the Federal Government’s offers to terminate its current strike at its National Executive Council, NEC, meeting, which will be held next Monday.
The meeting will be pivotal and might decide whether the government would actually fire the union as planned.
This is in line with what a member of the NEC privately stated meaning that whatever the union decides will be in the system’s best interests.
When reached, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, the national president of ASUU, stated that his union had not yet received any official offers from the government.
He said: “We have been negotiating with them through collective bargaining and whatever they have should not be made to us on the pages of newspapers. It should be done the way it is expected to be done.
“Our main problem with the government is that there is trust deficit. They will say something and do another thing.
“After the Memorandum of Action was signed last year with them, they were supposed to pay some money in two tranches starting from August last year, but they did not do the needful.
“As for other unions suspending their actions, ASUU is not a one man show, we will look collectively at whatever is presented to us. But as at now, nothing has been officially offered.”
Additionally, the National Association of Academic Technologists, NAAT, will conclude its strike at its NEC meeting on Thursday, leaving ASUU as the sole university staff union remaining on strike.
Parents Counsel ASUU
Also, parents have urged ASUU to accept the government’s proposals first while unresolved issues are being handled, under the auspices of the National Parents Teachers Association of Nigeria, or NAPTAN.
Although the aspirations of the striking employees might not be entirely met, the National President, Haruna Danjuma, remarked in a conversation with correspondents yesterday that it was preferable to have something to hang onto than nothing.
He said: “I have got information about what the government is offering, regarding salaries and payment of allowances. As our children have been at home for all this while, their future is of essence.
‘’The Briggs Committee proposed higher salary in the region of over one million naira monthly for a professor, but what is being offered is short of that. The truth is that all the sides cannot get everything they want.
“We are losing lecturers to other nations, while valuable time is wasted on strike. There will always be a mid-course to take and my suggestion is that ASUU should take the offers first while other issues are being sorted out.”
The Federal Government was prepared to give funds, according to a Monday report to revive the institutions, pay Earned Academic Allowance, and even slightly increase worker salaries.
It is hoped that the union will accept the offers and stay out of trouble for considering them.
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