By Shekara Aulamem
The recent meeting between the federal government and the leadership of ASUU has raised hope of suspension of its ongoing 8 months strike.
The meeting which was held in Abuja, Friday 20th of November has been “fruitful” according to the labour minister, Chris Ngige.
A leader of ASUU who spoke in confidence said the union is democratic and its final decision must be reached by its majority members. He further said if the union is to consider government handling of the crisis the strike will likely continue.
His words. “Though the government tried to paint us as the aggressor and engaged on futile propaganda, we will not be deterred. Yes, we all know the poor state of the economy now but even when everything was going well, what did the government do with the revenue?”
“However, our union is democratic in nature and setting. It is what majority of our members want that we will do. Congresses will hold and we will collate opinions of members and the majority will carry the vote”.
Investigation shows that as the national leadership of ASUU meet on Sunday and congress of the union hold between Monday and Wednesday this week, there will be debates across the country to capture the opinion of its members. Members may be swayed to soft-pedal base on the economic situation of the country.
The agreement reached by the federal government and ASUU is that, ASUU members will be paid salary arrears from February to June of this year through the old salary payment platform – the Government Integrated Financial Management and Information System (GIFMIS).
Also, the federal government said it would make N35 Billion available for the Earned Academic Allowances for all trade unions in the university system. Even though ASUU said it only negotiated that for its members.
Furthermore, the federal government promised to release N25 Billion as revitalization funds when the union initially demanded N220 Billion which was later reduced to N110 Billion.
The issue of the Integrated Personnel Payroll and Information System (IPPIS), is still contentious. This debunked earlier reports that ASUU members were exempted from the platform. This was confirmed by the labour minister, Chris Ngige.