Journalism of Courage

ASUU strike: FG’s negotiation team barred from signing “unimplementable” agreement — Minister

Scoring the federal government high in the negotiation so far, the minister said it had done “the best it can” to resolve the ongoing strike.

President Muhammadu Buhari has warned the Federal Government’s negotiation team with ASUU not to sign any agreement that is not feasible, so says Education Minister Adamu Adamu.

He spoke on Tuesday in an interview with reporters at a meeting with Pro-Chancellors and Vice-Chancellors of Federal Universities at the National Universities Commission (NUC), Abuja.

Adamu said: “This meeting became necessary and urgent due to certain misconceptions and misinformation in the public domain, regarding the ongoing strike action by the Academic Staff Union of Universities, ASUU.

“Not only is our interaction today necessary, it is also urgent to clarify the misrepresentations and draw your attention to the facts which you, as Managers of our Universities, ought to know by virtue of your assigned duties.

“It is indeed one of your statutory duties to negotiate with your workers on matters of their welfare and conditions of service.

“In all, we have been doing, our guide has been the directive of Mr President Muhammadu Buhari, namely, that while the unions should be persuaded to return to work, Government should not repeat the past mistakes of accepting to sign an agreement that we will be unable to implement.

“Government should not, in the guise of resolving current challenges, sow seeds for future disruptions.”

Scoring the federal government high in the negotiation so far, the minister said it had done “the best it can” to resolve the ongoing strike.

Persecondnews recalls that ASUU embarked on a four-week warning strike on February 14, 2022, to press for the revitalization of public universities, earned academic allowances, University Transparency Accountability Solution, UTAS, promotion arrears, renegotiation of 2009 ASUU-FGN agreement, and adoption of the Integrated Personnel Payroll Information System (IPPIS) of the government as the payment system in the university sector.

According to ASUU, the strike is a hard decision it was forced to take to prevent the “destruction” of public universities and the system.

Adamu also said:“We have done the best that we can in the circumstance. After Inter-ministerial consultations and rounds of hard negotiations with all government agencies, we interacted with the Unions.

“I personally, gave it all it required to resolve the current challenges. I met the Unions anywhere and everywhere possible with facts, with figures, and with absolute sincerity.

“For example, I directly met with ASUU leadership in my house, in my office and at the ASUU Secretariat on several different occasions, in addition to other formal engagements going on.

“To be frank with all the unions, especially with ASUU, one major issue over which Government and the Unions could not reach amicable agreement was the issue of the law on “No work, No pay”.

“In the spirit of sincerity, the Government made it clear that it would not break the law. And on this, I must openly and once again thank all the unions which made the sacrifice of understanding the position of Government on the matter.”

On the salary increment being proposed by ASUU, the minister said the draft agreement was critically reviewed and the proposed salary increment was considered unrealistic and out of tune with the current economic realities.

“After a series of meetings with His Excellency Mr President and the Minister of Finance, Budget and National Planning; Minister of Labour and Productivity; Minister of Communications and Digital Economy as well as the DG of Budget and the Chairman, Salaries and Wages Commission and the Minister of Education, the Draft Agreement was critically reviewed and the proposed salary it considered unrealistic and out of tune with the current realities of the national economy.”

Subscribe to our newsletter
Sign up here to get the latest news, updates and special offers delivered directly to your inbox.
You can unsubscribe at any time

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. AcceptRead More