The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has threatened to extend its ongoing industrial action in two weeks time.
This is according to a statement signed by the union president, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke seen by INTEL REGION.
The union condemned the Federal Government’s handling of negotiations and its nonchalant attitude towards the ongoing strike.
Recall that ASUU on February 14 embarked on strike to press home pending demands from the government which include include 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 the payment of salaries and allowances of university lecturers.
While appearing on Channels Television’s ‘Politics Today’ last week, Minister of Labour and Employment Chris Ngige advised the union to meet with the Benimi Briggs Committee, adding that the decision to stop ASUU’s strike could only be made by the union.
On when the issue will be resolved, the minister had said, “It depends on ASUU. The ball is in their court. They should go and meet the Benimi Briggs Committee and look at what the committee is doing and make further inputs so that the work can be accelerated.”
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However, ASSU chairman reacting to Chris Ngige’s comment said it was humiliating for the minister to encourage the union to work with a party other than the government. He also condemned the FG’s nonchalant attitude towards the ongoing strike.
He went on to say that the union may have no choice but to extend the strike after it expires.
He said, “The rollover ends in two weeks, and there is no information, nothing new from the FG. They didn’t make any effort to get in touch with us or seek ways of ending the strike.
“Our members will decide after two weeks what step to take. We will meet. We are not begging them for discussion; they should invite us for any meeting. That’s the way it should be. We are not on strike with Ngige or Briggs but against the government, so why is he saying we should go and meet one committee or one person? We are on strike against a system. Ngige just talks without thinking. Are we on strike with a particular person?,” he said.
The ongoing strike which has entered its tenth week will end by May 15, if the union won’t extend it.
The union in another bulletin released ordered all its members, especially the executive members not to attend any meeting summoned by the government without informing the Zonal coordinator. Read ASUU’s official press release below.