...Voice of the People

ASUU Set To Suspend Strike As FG Bows To Pressure

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There are strong indications that the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will soon call of its nine months old strike following the federal government’s decision to exclude university lecturers from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).

The federal government ceded to the key demand of ASUU at a meeting with the union on Friday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The government also offered to increase the Earned Allowances to university staff from N30 billion to N35 billion or N40 billion and revitalisation Fund from N20 billion to N25 billion.

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It directed Vice Chancellors to submit details of Earned Academic Allowances and Earned Allowances to the NUC before the 30th of November.

With the resolution of the dispute on IPPIS, it is believed that ASUU will suspend its indefinite strike.

Minister of Labour and Employment, Senator Chris Ngige however said that ASUU is expected to go and relay the latest proposals to its organs and revert to government so that the universities can reopen next week.

In a reconciliatory move, the government also accepted to wave the threat of “no work, no pay” and approve payment of salary arrears to the striking lecturers.

READ ALSO: ASUU Strike: UTAS Integrity Tests To Take Eight Weeks – FG

Ngige said: “The meeting agreed that the Federal Ministry of Education and that of Labour and Employment will look into the issue of “No work, No pay” as stipulated in Section 43 of the Trade Union Disputes Act, Cap 18 laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004 with a view to getting approval for the withheld salaries to be paid.

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“It was also agreed that the mode of payment of those that had not been captured on the IPPIS platform between the months of February and June, 2020 be adopted for the purpose of payment during this transition period.”

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On his part, ASUU President, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi said that the union has received the new proposals by the federal government and that it would go and consult with its organs before taking a position.

“I don’t really have much to say as the minister had said it all. Government has given us offers and we have promised to go back to our organs to brief them and then come back to government. We acknowledge that progress has been made,” he said.

Ogunyemi said that ASUU would need till Friday next week to meet with its organs before reverting to government. The meeting was therefore adjourned till next week Friday.

Another meeting was scheduled for Saturday with organised labour to review the working agreement on issues relating to the Downstream Sector of the Petroleum industry and electricity tariff.

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