NASU, SSANU suspend strike

The Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the non-teaching staff unions of universities has suspended its three-week-old strike.

The strike was suspended after JAC signed a memorandum of action (MoA) with the Federal Government.

The suspension of the strike takes effective from Friday (today), the JAC said.

The JAC of the non-teaching workers of universities comprises the Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU).

JAC started an indefinite strike on February 5 following the alleged failure of the Federal Government to resolve issues on the Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS).

The union protested the sharing formula of the N40 billion earned academic allowances and non-payment of arrears of the new minimum wage, among others.

Addressing reporters at the end of a meeting with the Federal Government team, led by Labour and Employment Minister Chris Ngige, NASU General Secretary, Peters Adeyemi, announced that the unions agreed to suspend the national strike after extracting some concessions from the government.

He said: “We had eight items which we negotiated and which formed the basis for our current national strike.

“Our members on our various campuses in the universities and inter-universities centres had appraised the draft MoA and then raised the few observations. But they granted us the mandate that if we are able to meet with the government, which we have been able to do today and if the leadership is satisfied, we can suspend the strike.

“So, we have held the meeting with the government side and those areas that needed to be harmonised have been harmonised to the satisfaction of both parties. Resulting from that development, we agreed that the current national strike in universities and inter-universities centres should be suspended with effect from midnight tomorrow, which is Friday, February 26.”

Ngige told reporters that all the rough edges in the former negotiation had been straightened out.

“If you remember, this is about the fourth negotiation we have had on the matters brought by the JAC of both unions. Today’s deliberation has been very fruitful.”

“We have issued a conciliation document, an MoA, and the two unions will get back to their members today with the MoA. They have, in good faith, promised to revert to the government in the next 48 hours.

“So, we keep our fingers crossed, believing that their communication with their members will be as quick and swift as they have promised us, more so when the government is desirous of the return of normal activities to the university system so that we can take the actions, one after the other,” he said.

The minister said on the return of normalcy to the universities, the government will follow up with the visitation panels, which is one of the agreements reached with the unions and which cannot be carried out without normalcy in the system.

The Nation

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