FG meets ASUU today over strike

The Federal Government will today reopen its negotiation with the university teachers in a crucial meeting with the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), over the on-going strike that has paralysed academic activities in the university system.

Minister of Labour and Productivity Chris Ngige scheduled the meeting for today with intent to finally resolve the lingering crisis; as the Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) leads other non-academic staff unions in the system, to also declare an indefinite industrial action to commence from next week Monday, 11th September 2017.

The reconciliatory meeting with ASUU, according to the Deputy Director (Press), Ministry of Labour and Employment, Samuel Olowookere, is to “apprehend the on-going strike action embarked upon by the Academic Staff Union of Universities.

He said the Minister has scheduled the crucial conciliatory meeting with the President and Executive of ASUU, officials of the Ministry of Education, led by the Minister, Mallam Adamu Adamu and other stakeholders.

The meeting will hold at the Conference room of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Federal Secretariat, Abuja by 11.30.

However, NASU and its other two sister non-academic staff unions that include National Association of Academic Technologists (NAAT) and Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SAANU) would begin an indefinite industrial action from next week Monday.

The Chairman of Joint Action Committee (JAC) of the unions, Samson Ugwoke, declared in Abuja Wednesday that the non-teaching staff unions are proceeding on the strike due to government’s failure to implement the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) reached with them in January this year following a five-day warning strike by the unions.

He said: “The January strike was suspended on the 18th January through the intervention of the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige, who headed the Federal Government team that interfaced with JAC. Unfortunately, seven months after, we are still at the sorry situation we were before the memorandum of understanding was signed as issues in contention were not addressed and government kept a dead silence despite letters and entreaties reminding them of their commitment to the non-teaching staff unions.”

The unions said 95% of their members voted for a total strike until the Federal Government open a line of meaningful dialogue with them.

They said: “Having comprehensive cleared from our members and gotten a direction from them, we hereby announce that the JAC of NAAT, NASU and SSANU has directed its members to embark on a comprehensive, total and indefinite strike action, effective from Monday, 11th September, 2017.

“During the strike, there shall be no provision of services, no matter how skeletal. Concessions shall not be granted while all our members are to stay at home till further notice, unless as directed by JAC through their respective Presidents,” he said.

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