Strike: Govt negotiating team’ll present ASUU’s demands to FEC today—Ngige

Why we boycotted meeting with FG —ASUU

ABUJA—MINISTER of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, yesterday, said the demands of striking Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, presented in a new letter to government dated August 28,2017, would be submitted to the Federal Executive Council, FEC, at its meeting today, in Abuja. Ngige, while giving update on the aborted meeting of government with ASUU, yesterday, in his office, confirmed the receipt of ASUU’s letter and the need to present the letter to Federal Executive Council, FEC, today. He said:”The government, as you know, has made an offer to ASUU through the Ministry of Education and late yesterday (Monday), ASUU got back to us with their counter offer.

      Dr Chris Nwabueze Ngige

“By then, this meeting had been scheduled and the government’s side needed to deliberate on their counter offer before we can have a reconciliation meeting to further discuss areas of disagreement. “That is the position right now. We are holding a government side meeting, while the Minister of Education is also holding meeting and we will meet later today and formalize our position. “Tomorrow is Federal Executive Council meeting and there are aspects that we will need FEC approval to go on with. “Thereafter, we will meet with the ASUU team either tomorrow (today) evening or Thursday morning, which ever will be more convenient,” the minister assured. Why we boycotted meeting with FG—ASUU Meanwhile, ASUU boycotted the meeting it was supposed to have had with the Federal Government yesterday. Instead, the union sent a letter, dated August 29, 2017, reminding the government that it was awaiting its action on its demands captured in an earlier letter, dated  August 28, 2017, before it could contemplate attending further meeting in response to the ongoing strike. The latest letter to the government, where the union ruled out attending further meeting, read: “On Thursday, August 17, 2017, we met with the Minister of Labour and Education where it was decided that we should consult our members and revert back to government. We have consulted our members and in a letter dated August 28, we have written back to the Federal Government on the outcome of our consultations “As we expect the Federal Government’s reaction to our letter, we hope it would not be long before we receive a response that would bring lasting solution to the dispute.’’   ASUU President, Biodun Ogunyemi, reacting  to inquiry on why his union stayed away from the scheduled meeting, said the union had earlier submitted details of the views collated from members following the meeting with government a fortnight ago to the Minister of Labour and Employment as well as his Education counterpart. ‘s statement on why it could not attend meeting with government yesterday read in part: ”Members of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU, were forced to proceed on indefinite , comprehensive and total strike action  on Sunday, 13th  August, 2017 following Government’s failure to implement issues, on which understanding was reached during the suspended warning strike of November, 2016. “We have since held talks with representatives of government and consulted our members nationwide on steps to be taken to immediately resolve the lingering crises. “Among issues in the dispute are the registration of the Nigerian Universities Pension Management Company (NUPEMCO), fractionalization of salaries in Federal Universities and gross under-funding/non-funding of State Universities, and arrears and implementation of Earned Academic Allowances (EAA). “Other issues are release of fund for revitalization of public universities as spelt out in 2013 Memorandum of Understanding, guidelines for retirement benefits of professors i line with 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement, Treasury Single Account (TSA) and withdrawal of support for universities’ staff primary schools. “On Thursday, 17th  August, 2017, we met with officials of the officials of the ministry of education and labour and employment where it was agreed that the union should consult and “revert back to government”. Following the due consultation, we have collated the views of our members on the offers from the government in dispute in the latter of 16thAugust 2017. These views were submitted to federal government vide our letter dated 28thAugust 2017. “As we await the Federal Government’s action on our letter, we hope that it would not be long before we receive a positive response which will bring an end to the dispute. Meanwhile, we thank all Nigerians, particularly our student (and their parent) and the media, for their understanding, so far ,on the need to speedily address the issues in the best interest of the Nigerian University System and for the overall development of the country. “

Check This Out:  ASUU, FG meet again tomorrow

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Source: Vanguard Nigeria

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