FG, ASUU negotiation stalled

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The federal government negotiations with the Academic Staff Union of Universities over the universities lecturers’ strike since November 5 has been deadlocked.

The meeting, which began at 3pm and lasted till 9pm Thursday, at the Ministry of Labour and Employment office in Abuja ,had to be adjourned till next week.

On the table are the seven points in the Memorandum of Action signed in September 2017, which both parties reviewed during the meeing.

Some of the highlights include “funding for revitalisation of universities; earned academic allowances; staff schools; pension matters; salary shortfalls, Treasury Single Account exemption; and state universities.”

At the table were the ASUU delegation was led by its National President, Prof Biodun Ogunyemi, while the government side had 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.

Ngige, before the meeting began, told newsmen that “talks with the academic union are coming a bit late because we have been having negotiations on the new minimum wage.”

“The government appeals to ASUU to put the interest of the students first because they are at the receiving end of the consideration,” he added.

Ogunyemi said the union had put forward its demands and the meeting had been adjourned till next week.

“No date has been fixed for next week but we will communicate the date to you tomorrow (Friday). The union was forced to go on strike because our plea for the implementation of the 2017 Memorandum of Action fell on deaf ears,” he said.

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