ASUU, Federal Government meet today to fine-tune grey areas in demands
Striking university teachers will today meet with the government team to fine-tune the grey areas in their demands.National president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, who confirmed this to The Guardian, maintained that the five-week old strike would only be suspended if all the vexed issues are resolved.
Ogunyemi said members met at the branch level to review the negotiation process and identified some grey areas, which they insisted must be addressed before the strike could be suspended.
The Federal Government’s delegation to last week’s meeting led by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, and Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, said it would make funds available in September and October to back earlier agreements and to show its good faith.
In respect of the 2009 agreement, government proposed a seven-man committee with the union to work out a framework for the implementation.Ngige further said payments of earned allowances of the teachers had started as at the time while a pathway was proposed for registration of a universities’ pension management company, raising hopes of students and parents that the strike would soon be called off.
But Ogunyemi told The Guardian yesterday: “The strike has not been suspended; its true we consulted at the branch level but members directed us to go back and meet the government team to clarify the grey areas. Let us fine-tune the rough edges, as soon as this is done and provided that government does not renege again on the agreement, we will suspend the strike.”
Meanwhile, In view of the recent publications by the members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Lagos State University (LASU) chapter, claiming that the dismissed officers of the institution were being victimised by the university management, professors and associate professors of LASU, have distanced themselves from the claims.
The group, in a communiqué issued at the end of their meeting held at the institution’s senate chamber during the weekend, and signed by Prof. Martins Anetekhai and Dr. Sylvester Odion-Akhaine, said it had become imperative for them to declare their true stance in the context of the new development at LASU in the face of the conflicting statements emanating thereafter.
According to them, “The body of Professors and Associate Professors is committed to the good image of the university, the welfare of the staff and the progress of our students. We totally dissociate ourselves from the recent publications by the members of the ASUU-LASU executives, which claimed they were being victimised by the university management. The dismissal of the affected staff was based on the extant rules and regulations of the university.
“However, the affected members of staff have the right within the ambit of the law to appeal to the governing council or seek redress in a court of competent jurisdiction. ASUU-LASU has always been at the forefront of ASUU struggles and we are totally committed to the ongoing national strike.
“We observe the undue interference of the Zonal Coordinator of ASUU (Lagos Zone) calling a press conference, the content of which did not emanate from the ASUU-LASU Congress and therefore, we totally dissociate ourselves from it. The union belongs to all of us and all hands must be on deck to ensure a united ASUU-LASU body.”
The communiqué also implored the Lagos State government and visitor to the university to honour whatever agreement is reached between the Federal Government of Nigeria and ASUU in the interest of the state.
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