The President of the Academic Staff Union of Universities, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, has said that the Federal Government was not committed to implementing the outstanding issues in the FG-ASUU 2009 agreement.
Ogunyemi on Sunday, while addressing a press conference at the University of Lagos, said the on-going strike would continue until the Federal Government was ready to meet the demands of the union.
“Since the commencement of our industrial action on November 4, 2018, we have had six meetings with the agents of the Federal Government, with no clear commitment from government to meeting our demands. Government has adopted the ‘keep-them-talking’ strategy while deceiving the public that progress was being made and that partial agreement had been reached between the government and the union.
“Through its press interactions, government had falsely raised the hopes of the Nigerian public on the state of discussion with our union. Our expectation from a very responsive and sincere government is that, by now, all outstanding issues would have been resolved to the satisfaction of both parties. Unfortunately, government has yet to show sincerity to addressing the problem,” Ogunyemi said.
The ASUU President said the outstanding issues in the 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement, 2013 MoU and 2017 MoA which led to the on-going strike are, commitment to implementing the 2013 MoU with respect to the balance of N1.1tn revitalisation fund for public universities; release of the report of forensic audit on the Earned Academic Allowances, payment of outstanding arrears, and mainstreaming the allowances into the 2018 budget; payment of arrears of shortfalls in the salaries of university academics; renegotiation of 2009 FGN-ASUU agreement and removal of the fixated Chairman of the negotiating team, Dr Wale Babalakin, among others.
Meanwhile, the Joint Action Committee of all trade unions in the six Oyo State-owned tertiary institutions has threatened to resume its suspended industrial action should the government refuse to release funds for the payment of its unpaid arrears and subventions.
The concerned trade unions from the six tertiary institutions are the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics; the Colleges of Education Academic Staff Union, the Non-Academic Staff Union, the Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Polytechnics and the Senior Staff Union of Colleges of Education, Nigeria.
In a communique issued after a meeting at the Ibarapa Polytechnic, Eruwa, and signed by the JAC Chairman, Afees Adeniyi, it was resolved that “JAC is unhappy at the non-provision of funds for the payments of the outstanding arrears alongside the recently paid November salaries and subventions after government had failed to do so with the September and October salaries and subventions that were paid.
“Against the backdrop of the above, the meeting considered very seriously the reawakening of her suspended industrial action since government has refused to provide funds for the payments of the arrears alongside September, October and November subventions that have been released.
“The meeting, therefore, demands that government should release funds for the payments of the accumulated arrears of between three and 18 months before the year runs out. Otherwise, JAC will not hesitate to direct her members to resume not only the suspended industrial action in the six institutions but also call them out for mass protests.”