ASUU Divided Over FG’s Offer To End Strike

The branches of the ACADEMIC Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) are divided over whether to accept the Federal Government’s offer and cancel their eight-month strike.

The union will harmonize the positions of the zones and branches at a meeting in Abuja today.

With some branches insisting that the government must comply with all demands before the strike is canceled, the union can put the decision to a vote.

The Ahmadu Bello University branch agreed with the government on the Earned Academic Allocation (EAA) of Naira 40 billion.

However, the branch requested payment of the allowance before the strike was called off.

Lecturers from the Federal University of Petroleum Resources (FUPRE), Delta state, said that negotiations with the federal government must be concluded before the strike is suspended.

Ezekiel Agbalagba, president of ASUU at the university, said that the congress on Wednesday accepted the EAA, but rejected the 25 billion naira for the revitalization of the universities.

According to him, the latest concession from the Federal Government is “an offer”, and he adds: “May it land in our pocket first.”

He added: “We are ready to suspend the strike, but some of those disputed issues should be dealt with once.”

The ASUU chapters of Maiduguri University, Yobe State University and Gashua Federal University resolved to obtain a serious commitment from the Federal Government before suspending industrial action.

The Federal University of Agriculture, Makurdi (UAM) ASUU voted to continue with the strike action until the Federal Government implements what was offered during the negotiation.

The ASUU-UAM chapter said that both their withheld wages and their miscellaneous allowances must also be paid.

A UAM lecturer, who preferred not to be named, said they voted that the strike should continue until the government fulfills its end of the bargain.

ASUU’s national leadership will receive reports from the zone coordinators after the state congresses.

After considering the reports, management is expected to take a position and present it to the Federal Government.

A source said that some of the congresses voted in favor of suspending the strike; others don’t.

The source said that the congresses agreed on the offers presented by the government to the union and with a deadline to implement some of them.

The source added: “All the reports will arrive today (yesterday) and we can make a decision about it.”

Last Friday, the Federal Government accepted ASUU’s demand for the payment of teachers’ salaries from February to June through the old platform: the Government’s Integrated Financial and Management Information System.

The government said ASUU’s exemption from the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) was temporarily pending when university professors complete development of their payment platform, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).

After weeks of negotiations, the government offered to increase the EAA from N30billion to N35billion and the revitalization fund from N20billion to N25billion.

Altogether, the government, through the General Accountant of the Federation, offered the lecturers N65 billion to cancel the strike.

The government also changed ground on some issues, including insisting that all academic staff at federal universities must be paid through the IPPIS platform.

The University of Ilorin (President of UNILORIN ASUU, Professor Moyosore Ajao, said that the chapter was aligned with the national body.

He said: “Our president will rule on our resolution after our meeting tomorrow (today).”

A source at the ASUU UNILORIN meeting said that the union resolved that “our wages be paid and from now on it must not be stopped.”

“We also resolved that ASUU is not and cannot be in IPPIS,” he added.

The president of the ASUU section of Jos University, Dr. Lazarus Maigoro, said: “We are under a strict directive from the national body not to publish our resolutions yet.”

ASUU’s Sokoto zone coordinator, Dr. Jamilu Shehu, told our correspondent that the zones are expected to make their positions known at the Abuja meeting.

Source: – The Nation

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