Abuja—The Academic Staff Union of Universities, Joint Action Committee of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions have said the federal government is in negotiation with the unions.
Punch newspaper reports that ASUU’s National President, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, said the union had been negotiating with the Federal government represented by the prof Nimi Briggs Committee since last week over its demands.
It would be recalled that on March 7, 2022, the Federal Government inaugurated a seven-man committee chaired by the Pro-Chancellor of Alex Ekweme Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Prof Nimi Briggs to find a common ground with the academic unions on some of their demands namely; the release of revitalization funds for universities, renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement,
Others include the release of earned allowances for university lecturers and the deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution payment platform.
Osodeke said, “We are discussing with the Federal Government through the renegotiation team and we started last week.
“The negotiation is between ASUU and the Briggs Committee and the agreement should be negotiated quietly. When we reach an agreement, we will come to the press.
“We hope this approach/ negotiation will solve the problem so that by next week, we will brief Nigerians. Give us a little time.”
However, prof Osodeke said it is still uncertain whether ASUU would call off the strike soon or not, “We don’t know until we finish the negotiation ”
Similarly, the SSANU National President, Mr. Ibrahim Mohammed, confirmed that the union had two meetings with the Briggs Committee, saying, “Yes, the Briggs Committee is negotiating with the unions and the government should fast track the process. We are not used to staying at home; we are ready to go back to work as soon as all the issues we raised are discussed and agreed upon.”
SSANU’s strike started with a warning strike of two weeks which commenced on March 27, 2021, while the extension of another two weeks commenced on Sunday, April 10, 2022. It is ongoing, having been reported that it has been extended by a month.
Some of the demands of SSANU include the inconsistent issue of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System, unpaid earned allowances, delay in the renegotiation of FGN, NASU, SSANU agreements, and non-payment of minimum wage arrears.
Others include neglect and poor funding of state universities, non-payment of retirement benefits to outgoing members of the unions, and usurpation of the headship of non-teaching units in clear violation of conditions of service and establishment procedures, among others.