The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) may suspend it’s over prolonged industrial action embarked upon to protest over poor welfare and other issues in the country tomorrow, Tuesday.
ASUU may announced suspension of the strike after meeting the Federal Government representatives for a meeting in the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Abuja, to address their over 10 demands placed before the government.
The ASUU president, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke, gave the hint on the striking lecturers plans on Monday during an interview on a popular television program in the country.
Osodeke explained that the meeting was scheduled between both parties in order to allow for a extensive discussion on the issues ASUU was protesting over which resulted in the industrial action that had grounded activities within federal government owned tertiary institutions’.
The striking lecturers’ leader stressed that ASUU members were willing to get back to work but all that was delaying their resumption was the apex government commitment to the demands before it.
Osodeke said, “the renegotiation of the 2009 agreement. It is not just about wages. It has to do with the system, funding, the structure, the autonomy and other issues; and how to fund universities.
“The government has reduced it to just salaries alone. But if they had looked at the whole agreement and implemented it, we will not be talking about funding.”
It would be recalled that ASUU embarked on a four-week warning strike on February 14. After one month, March 14, the union extended the industrial action by another two months to allow the government meet all of its demands. A 12-week extension was announced on May 9.
Since May 9, the union has remained on strike, vowing to persist until its demands are met. And the academics are seeking improved welfare, revitalisation of public universities and academic autonomy among other demands.
One bone of contention for the academics is the non-payment of university revitalisation funds, which amounts to about N1.1 trillion.
But the Federal Government has said it doesn’t have the money to pay such an amount, citing low oil prices during the Muhammadu Buhari administration.
The agreement was struck in 2009. Another is the issue of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS).
The academics have proposed an alternative payroll system, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).