FG, ASUU fail to agree as strike persists
As the strike action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, enters its second week, effort by the federal government to negotiate with the union has ended in a stalemate.
ASUU ordered its members across the country to take the industrial action on November 5, but government authorities have been reluctant to engage the union until last Thursday when both parties met at the Ministry of Labour and Employment headquarters in Abuja.
At the meeting which lasted for over six hours, the aggrieved union could not reach a truce with the federal government and opted to sustain the strike action until negotiations resume this week.
ASUU is demanding that the government implement the 2017 Memorandum of Action, which bothered on funding for revitalisation of universities, earned academic allowances, staff schools, pension matters, salary shortfalls, Treasury Single Account exemption and state universities.
National President of ASUU, Comrade Bioudun Ogunyemi, who spoke to journalists after the meeting, said the union was forced to go on strike because its plea for the implementation of the 2017 Memorandum of Action fell on deaf ears.
While stating that ASUU has already made its demands known to the federal government, Ogunyemi said their meeting with the Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, in May and September 2018 to remind him of the Federal Government’s promises to implement the agreement yielded no result.
Earlier, the Minister of labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, apologised that talks with the academic union were coming a bit late because government was occupied with negotiations on the new minimum wage.
Negotiating parties at the meeting include ASUU National President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Sonny Echono and the Accountant-General of the Federation, Ahmed Idris.