ASUU Strike Latest News Today Wednesday, 22 June 2022





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Negotiation committee waiting for FG, say ASUU, SSANU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities and the Joint Action Committee of the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and allied institutions have both said they have yet to receive any message after discussing the 2009 agreements with the Federal Government renegotiation committee.

The Federal Government renegotiation committee, chaired by Pro-Chancellor of Alex Ekweme Federal University Ndufu-Alike, Prof. Nimi Briggs, is expected to review the draft proposed 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement and renegotiate with all the striking university unions.

Since April 2022, the Briggs renegotiation committee had been meeting with the unions in the universities who are all currently on strike due to unmet demands of the 2009 agreements signed with the FG.

National President of ASUU, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke in an interview with our correspondent said the Prof. Nimi Briggs Committee told the union they were waiting for the Federal Government to respond to the reports of the meeting they had so far.

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‘‘Yes, we had a meeting with them last week and they have not called us again. All they told us was that they are waiting for their principal, that when their principal responds, they will get back to us,’’ he said.

Osodeke said they had not gotten invitation for another meeting. But lamented that this was the situation since May 2021, ‘‘The same way they told us they were waiting for the FG in May 2021 and yet no result.’’

Similarly, the national president, SSANU, Mr Ibrahim Mohammed, whose union had a meeting with the renegotiation Committee last week Friday said all that was done were appraisals and reviews, adding that the Briggs committee said they were waiting for their ‘masters’ to respond.

‘‘They told us they are waiting for their ‘masters’ we reviewed the meeting and they promised to get back to us when their principal responds. So we are waiting. The strike is still on.’’

Mohammed also said there were erroneous pieces of information on social media that the results of the

University Transparency and Accountability Solution and University Peculiar Personnel and Payroll System, had been released.

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He added that NITDA had only concluded the test on UTAS and U3PS but no result was announced.

Mohammed revealed that the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System test was ongoing.

The IPPIS was described as a problematic payment platform by the unions in the higher institutions who all complained bitterly about its inconsistency and alleged it was an imported fraudulent platform.

As such, due to IPPIS’ irregularities and short-changing of salaries, ASUU and SSANU created indigenous payment platforms, namely, UTAS and U3PS respectively.

Mohammed said, ‘‘The results of the payment platforms as being rumored are not yet out. The committee has finished the UTAS and UP3 tests and they are now on IPPIS.

The PUNCH had reported that SSANU’s strike started with a warning strike of two weeks which commenced on the midnight of Sunday 27th March 2021, while the extension of another two weeks commenced on Sunday 10th April 2022 and it is still ongoing.

Some of the demands of SSANU include the inconsistent issue of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel information system, unpaid earned allowances, and 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.

ASUU commenced its ongoing strike on February 14,  2022, after the Federal Government refused to meet some of its demands including, the release of revitalisation funds for universities, renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreement, release of earned allowances for university lecturers, and deployment of the UTAS payment platform for the payment of salaries and allowances of university lecturers.

Renegotiation of 2009 agreement at advanced stage, says ASUU

The Academic Staff Union of Universities has said the renegotiation of the 2009 agreement between the Federal Government and the union has reached an advanced stage.

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The union encouraged its members to remain focused to the end “of the struggle.”

The union made this known in a memo titled, “Strike bulletin number 6”, signed by its National President, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, and made available to all branches of the union.

Our correspondent obtained a copy of the memo on Sunday.

Osodeke, in the memo, noted that the union had a total of five meetings with the representatives of the Federal Government, while two meetings were held with the Minister of Education,

Adamu Adamu.

The memo read in part, “Our iron-cast resolve has forced the government to sit down and negotiate with us.

“We have had five meetings with the Federal Government team and two meetings with the Minister of Education.

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“The renegotiation of the 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement is progressing smoothly and has reached an advanced stage. However, we must remain focused to the end of this struggle.

“The University Transparency and Accountability Solution has been tested for the third time. So far, the National Information Technology Development Agency has tested UTAS and University Peculiar Personnel and Payroll System, and will start testing the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System by next week. We are undeterred by the antics of some government officials in this respect.

“It is clear that hunger, misinformation, distortion of facts, intimidation and other sundry acts of arm-twisting have failed to break our resolve to date; they should not break us now.

“Ignore fake news and divisive information emanating from social media and a section of the press. If in doubt over any issue, contact your chairperson for correct information.

“We are at the threshold of victory. Let us keep faith with the union. A people united can never be defeated.”

So far under the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd), schools have been shut down for no fewer than 13 months.

Education rights groups such as Reform Education Nigeria and Education Rights Campaign have called for an increase in funding of the nation’s tertiary education.

ASUU Issue Not As Simple As It Seems – Lai Mohammed

The Federal Government has given indications that the lingering tussle between it and the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) is complex.

The Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed, said this on Wednesday after the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting chaired by President Muhammadu Buhari.

He said that in spite of the complexities, a lot is being done behind the scene to resolve the issues.

The minister argued that the Federal Government is concerned about the protracted issues with the lecturers and will continue to work to find an early resolution to the problem.

ASUU embarked on its latest nationwide strike since February 14 over issues bothering the adoption of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS), non-payment of salaries and allowances, and poor funding of universities among others.

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As part of moves to end the four-month-old strike, the government and officials of the union continued their negotiations on Monday.

The meeting between the striking lecturers and the Professor Nimi Briggs Committee, however, ended without

a concrete agreement as members planned to reconvene within 24 hours to consider a draft agreement.

Talks between both parties were held at the Nigeria University Commission (NUC) in Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).

A senior member of the union, who attended the meeting, told Channels Television that they reached some agreements with the Federal Government but members had to take a break and reconvene within 24 hours to consider the new terms in the draft agreement.

The Federal Government set up the committee led by Professor Briggs on March 7 with a three-month mandate to renegotiate the 2009 ASUU/Federal Government agreement.

Strike: ASUU to sanction non-complying chapters

The Academic Staff Union of Universities has threatened to query universities that have failed to comply with its decision to remain on strike while negotiations with the Federal Government continue.

ASUU President, Prof Emmanuel Osodeke, said this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria on Monday in Abuja.

NAN recalls that ASUU had been on strike for the past five months to press home its demands.

The striking lecturers’ demands include funding of the revitalisation of public universities, Earned Academic Allowances, University Transparency Accountability Solution and promotion arrears.

Others are the renegotiation of 2009 ASUU-FG Agreement and the inconsistency in Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System.

NAN, however, reports that since the union embarked on strike, some of its members have pulled out of the ongoing strike to resume their academic activities.

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But Osodeke said, “We will punish those who have pulled out from our ongoing strike the appropriate way.

“We will ensure we query them and we will follow it up the appropriate way. We have even queried some of them in accordance with the union’s rules.”

Osodeke also noted that since the last Tripartite Plus meeting called by the Chief of Staff to the President, Ibrahim Gambari, on the ongoing industrial action over a month ago, there has been no other meeting.

He said nothing concrete that came out of the last meeting that was held at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

“We have not been called for any other meeting since that time and the government did not offer us anything, they just asked us to meet with the committee,” he said.

He also said that the union will be

meeting with the government within the week.

 

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