THE Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, last night announced a conditional suspension of the strike it embarked upon five weeks ago.
But the union said that the suspension has time line for the Federal Government to implement what was contained in the memorandum of action the two parties entered into. Briefing journalists after a meeting with the Federal Government Negotiation Team, the National President of ASUU, Prof. Abiodun Ogunyemi said in event the government in her characteristic mature failed to implement the agreement, the union will not hesitate to take appropriate action, adding that all the items on the list have a time line.
ASUU and the Federal Government team led by the Minister of Labor and Employment Senator Chris Ngige had lurked in a meeting that started about 4.00 pm which was supposed to last for about one hour, but it dragged for about four hours before agreement was reached on all contending issues. Briefing Journalist after the meeting which ended at about 7.55 pm, Minister of Labor and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige said all the gray areas have been sorted out and an agreement reached. He said that members of the union had insisted that they were tired of having agreements that are not implemented, pointing out that the content of the agreement was taken from the series of meeting with the union since the commencement of the strike. He said further that both the government and the union understood themselves and agreed in several issues, assuring that the agreement reached will be implemented by the government in line with available resources. Areas of agreement include funding for revitalization of public universities and the issue of Earn Academic Allowances, the issue of University Staff Schools and the implementation of the judgement of the National Industrial Court, National Universities Pension Management Company and guidelines for pension matters for Professors. He also said that the union agreed to the exemption offered by the government regarding the issue of TSA, which include the issue of grants, endowment fund as well as salary short fall which he said is already being implemented by government. On the issue of state universities, he said they agreed that the union will submit a position paper to the federal government on their observation with a view for government to advise state government on the funding of state universities. He describe the union as patriotic members of the society, pointing out that anybody who demand better working equipment is no doubt a patriot.