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SSANU, NASU Suspend Strike for Two Months

todayAugust 21, 2022

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Onyebuchi Ezigbo in Abuja

The Senior Staff Association of Nigeria Universities (SSANU) and the Non-Academic Staff Union of Allied and Education Institutions (NASU) yesterday suspended their strike actions after a brief meeting with the Minister of Education, Adamu Adamu, in Abuja.
Confirming the suspension, the Joint Action Committee (JAC) of NASU and SSANU said that the suspension would take effect from Wednesday, August 24, 2022, for an initial two months.

A statement signed by the General Secretary NASU and Spokesman of JAC, Mr Peters Adeyemi, said the decision followed the conclusion of negotiation between JAC and the federal government team led by the Minister of Education, Adamu.  
It explained that the two months are to allow the government to implement the agreements reached.
He said that part of the agreement “is the decision of the government to set aside the sum of N50 billion for the payment of earned academic and earned allowances, the cogent decision on the University Peculiar Personnel Payroll System (UPPS), release of the white paper on university visitation panel and funding of the universities”.  

On the poor funding of federal institutions, JAC’s spokesman said the minister has directed the National Universities Commission (NUC) to ensure that all the schools are up-to-date on what they are supposed to do, otherwise sanctions would be visited on any institution that defaults.

According to him, the minister also gave an assurance that no member of the unions that participated in the strike would be victimised.
He quoted the minister as having said that President Muhammadu Buhari was committed to devoting 15 per cent of the national budget to education.
On the salary payment system, Adeyemi said that the government had assessed the alternative payment systems provided by ASUU, JAC of NASU and SSANU and found them to be satisfactory.

He added that the federal government was awaiting the report of the technical committee it set up before taking action on the matter.
Adeyemi said after very prolonged negotiations and dialogue between the two unions and the federal government led by the minister, the two unions decided to suspend the strike for the initial period of two months.

“When we presented the offers that the government made to our members, they think that since the majority of the issues that are in contention have been substantially addressed by the government, the strike is hereby be suspended effective this Wednesday, August 24, 2022”.
On his part, Adamu disclosed that the federal government has committed N50 billion to pay earned allowances for members of SSANU, NASU and ASUU.
However, activities in public universities are expected to remain limited as ASUU remains on strike.
Adamu, who had hinted at SSANU and NASU’s suspension of the strike last Thursday, said ASUU rejected the government’s proposal over the “no work, no pay” rule.

Like ASUU, SSANU and NASU had also embarked on strike. The university lecturers have been on strike since February 14.
The unions had called for the renegotiation of the 2009 agreement, payment of earned allowances, usurpation of non-academic career positions by vice-chancellors, the inclusion of university staff schools into the university community, non-payment of minimum wage arrears, and funding of state universities.
A committee set up by the federal government and headed by Emeritus Professor, Nimi Briggs had engaged in negotiations with the two unions.
 When he appeared on national television on Friday, ASUU’s President, Professor Emmanuel Osodeke, said salary backlogs must be cleared before lecturers would return to the classroom.

“If we agree on that, therefore, the lectures we should have given (to students) for 2020/2021 and 2021/2022 (sessions), should be allowed to go so we start a new session, 2022/2023, in September,” Professor Osodeke said.
“Therefore, by July next year, I would go on my leave as we used to have in those days so that the backlog is gone. All the lectures that remain; all the two sets of admissions that JAMB has given that are waiting should become irrelevant.”

He explained that when “other unions go on strike and come back, all those periods for which you are on strike, you don’t need to do the backlog of work.
“But for ASUU, when we go back today, we are going to start from the 2020/2021 session. For these two sets of students that have been admitted by JAMB, we have to teach them over these periods to ensure that we meet up with the system.

“So, we are going to do the backlog of the work we have left behind. We are not going to start today and say ‘This session is 2022/2023; therefore, all these two sets of people that have been admitted by JAMB are cancelled. We have to take another admission for the 2023/2024 session’.”

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