ASUU agrees to suspend strike, FG to pay Feb-June salary arrears before December 31

Govt agrees to up payment to N70 billion

AT last, the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has agreed to call off its nine-month strike which has grounded academic activities in the public universities.

The agreement to suspend the strike was reached on Friday by the ASUU leadership at a meeting with the Federal Government team led by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr Chris Ngige.

Tribune Online gathered last night that government also promised to increase the total payment to the union to N70 billion.

At the end of a closed-door meeting between the two parties on Friday at the Ministry of Labour and Employment, it was gathered that government agreed to raise payment for Earned Academic Allowance and revitalisation to N70 billion.

According to a top official of the ministry who was privy to the discussions where ASUU agrees to suspend strike, the government pledged to pay N40 billion as the Earned Allowance and N30 billion for the revitalisation of the university system bringing the total payment to N70 billion.

The official added that the government also pledged to settle university lecturers’ salary arrears between February and June on or before December 31- a development ASUU members welcomed.

Tribune had reported that government at last week meeting accepted to exempt the varsity teachers from Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS) pending the approval of their proposed payment system, the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS).

Speaking after the meeting where ASUU agrees to suspend strike, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, who led government’s delegation, told newsmen that the parley was fruitful, reiterating that the government made a proposal to ASUU which it would take back to its members.

“Many issues were discussed at the meeting including salary shortfall, the payment system and revitalization of the university system. I am positive that all the issues would be resolved at our next meeting,” the minister said.

When journalists turned to the ASUU President, Professor Biodun Ogunyemi, he simply said everything the minister said was correct and declined to comment further.

Both parties, however, promised to get back to their respective principals and organs respectively and report back in the next meeting.

 

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