The eight-month strike was called off after the union’s National Executive Council (NEC) met Thursday night into Friday morning.
The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has decided to call an end to its indefinite strike.
ASUU’s decision was made at the union’s National Executive Council (NEC) meeting in Abuja early Friday.
A official statement is scheduled for Friday morning.
A member of ASUU-NEC present at the meeting told PREMIUM TIMES Friday morning that the suspension of the strike was predicated on last week’s Court of Appeal judgement, which directed the union to respect a National Industrial Court order.
By issuing an injunction sought by the Nigerian government, the industrial court ordered the lecturers to cease their strike awaiting the outcome of the main suit.
According to our source, the government has yet to meet the lecturers’ demand.
A few days after Labour Minister Chris Ngige submitted the ASUU dispute to the industrial court, Speaker of the House of Representatives Femi Gbajabiamila commenced talks with the union.
While the court procedures were ongoing, the leadership of the House of Representatives organized discussions between ASUU and impacted government Ministries, Departments, and Agencies (MDAs).
During the sessions, the government said unequivocally that it would not embrace the professors’ preferred payment option. Instead, it stated that the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) will be adapted to fit the university’s and its employees’ unique needs.
The government has included N170 billion in the planned 2023 budget for tertiary institution revitalization and N300 billion for salaries. However, it is uncertain whether those budgetary provisions match the lecturers’ needs.
Mr Gbajabiamila urged President Muhammadu Buhari to make compromises on the government’s “No Work, No Pay” policy.
Another source previously informed PREMIUM TIMES that the union was awaiting President Buhari’s decision on the payment of the lecturers’ salaries during the strike.
When ASUU called a four-week strike on February 14, it was in response to the union’s demand for better university financing and increased compensation for its members, as outlined in many agreements it had with the government.
ASUU is specifically requesting the release of university revitalisation funds, payment of its members’ earned academic allowances, the release of whitepapers from presidential visitation panels’ reports, and the deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS) as the preferred payment platform for university workers.
ASUU has rejected the IPPIS, which the government utilizes to pay all governmental officials’ salaries, claiming that it is illegitimate and does not recognize the unique characteristics of institutions.
ASUU proceeded to extend the walkout until August, when the union declared an indefinite strike.
More information to follow…