By Joan Nwagwu
Abuja, Aug. 20, 2022 The Joint Action Committee,(JAC), of the Non Academic Staff Union of Education and Associated Institutions, NASU, and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities, SSANU, said it would suspend its ongoing strike on Wednesday.
The JAC’s spokesman, Mr Peters Adeyemi, said this in a statement made available to newsmen on Saturday in Abuja.
Naija247news reports that the unions had embarked on strike since March 27, to press home their demands.
The workers’ demands include renegotiation of 2009 agreements with the Federal Government; inconsistencies occasioned by IPPIS, and replacement of the payment platform with the University Peculiar Personnel Payroll System (U3PS), and non-payment of earned allowances.
Others are payment of arrears of national minimum wage; release of whitepapers on visitation panel reports.
Others are reinstatement of staff schools’ teachers in line with the National Industrial Court judgement; poor funding and governance of state universities, among others.
Adeyemi said the the decision to to suspend the strike was taken following negotiation between the unions and the Federal Government team led by the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu.
According to him, the suspension of the strike was for the initial two months to allow government implement the agreements reached.
“Part of the agreement is the decision of the government to set aside the sum of N50 billion for the payment of earned academic and earned allowances, cogent decision on the University Peculiar Personnel Payroll System (U3PS).
”Release of the whitepaper on university visitation panel and funding of the universities.
”On the poor funding of federal institutions, the Minister directed the National Universities Commission (NUC), to ensure that all the schools are up-to-date on what they are supposed to do.
”Otherwise sanctions will be visited on any institution that defaults.
“The Minister of Education also gave an assurance that no member of the unions that participated in the strike will be victimised,” he said.
Adeyemi also added that the minister said President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to devoting 15 per cent of the national budget to education.
He said, ”on the salary payment system, the minister said the alternative payment systems provided by ASUU, JAC of NASU and SSANU did very well.
”The minister also said the Federal Government was awaiting the report of the technical committee it set up before taking action on the matter.
”After prolonged negotiations and dialogue between the two unions and the Federal Government led Adamu and after the meeting, the two unions decided to suspend the strike for the initial period of two months.
“When we presented the offers that the government made to our members, they think that since the majority of the issues that are in contention have been substantially addressed by the government, the strike is hereby suspended effective on Aug. 24,” he said.
Similarly, SSANU in a statement signed by its President, Mr Mohammed Ibrahim, said the meeting between the government and the unions was satisfactory.
Ibrahim said, ”today, having satisfied ourselves that government, this time around has committed itself to agreeing to respect the agreements that have been reached at the meetings.
“‘We believe that it is only honourable that we give the government the benefit of the doubt, while the needful was being done at the government’s end.
“To this end, we hereby inform you of a two months window given to the government to actualize the agreements that have been reached.
”The two months window is in the nature of a ceasefire and does not represent a closure on the industrial action.
“It is our sincere prayer, given the assurance made by the Minister of Education and our commitment to ensure an end to the ongoing impasse.
”That the two months opportunity will suffice for actions to be taken and the entire matter laid to rest.
“In view of the above, NASU and SSANU members are hereby directed to resume duties on Wednesday, Aug. 24, ‘he said.