The Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU on Thursday said the ongoing strike would not be called off until the Federal Government has fully implemented all the offers it made to the union after their last meeting. The union says it is tired of the Federal Government’s antics of making promises without fulfilling them; adding that the strike action will not be called off until they are sure that the offers made by the federal Government have been implemented.
This was disclosed by the National President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, in an exclusive interview with newsmen in Lagos on Thursday.
When asked when the strike would be called off, Ogunyemi said, “Our members said they want to see evidence of satisfactory implementation of all they have proposed before the strike can be called off.”
The ASUU president noted that the issue with the government is lack of implementation of what has already been agreed on. He recalled that last year, the government promised to release funds for the revitalisation of public universities, which was one of the demands of the union, but failed to do so.
“There are items there that require implementation. If they are setting up a committee on state universities, and they actually do, it is not something we need to agree on. It is about action.” He said.
He explained that in order to forestall a situation ASUU and the government would restart negotiations on arrears of earned academic allowances, both sides agreed that “it would be mainstreamed into the 2019 budget.”
According to him, such an agreement was reached last year, but he said the government failed to honour it.
Ogunyemi stated, “We are going to have a discussion on when to commence renegotiation because there are still grey areas. If the government can substantially address these issues, we will be more confident to face our members on the way forward. For now, the feeler we are getting is that our members do not actually want to accept this government proposal from us.
“They said they would pay the shortfall of salary arrears of what was removed from workers’ salaries. There are 20 universities identified. The money will be available by January 18. It is around the corner and we will see if it will come.” He stressed.