From: Joe Effiong, Uyo
Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU), Akwa Ibom State university, Ikot Akpaden Chapter, has hurriedly suspended its planned indefinite strike following and agreement by the State Government to make immediate payment of three out of eleven months backlog of 25% salary arrears to staff of the university.
This was contained in the resolution issued at a meeting of officials of state government, management of the university and labour unions on Monday, on Monday.
The resolution signed by the government representatives and officials of the unions, stressed that the outstanding arrears of eight months would be paid subsequently in batches of three months each.
Other resolutions include full payment of salary from January, 2021 as well as the constitution of a visitation panel to resolve all outstanding issues in the University by the visitor to the University.
The State Chairman of Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Sunny James who confirmed story, said the government has agreed to pay ASUU workers 75 percent of their salary from January to December 2020 except the month of March where they received full minimum wage.
James, who was part of the meeting, said the government would commence the process of payment of the new minimum wage in full from January 2021 and the arrears of the 25 percent outstanding for the 11 months would be paid in batches.
“The arrears of their 25 percent outstanding for the 11 months would be paid in batches of three months each,” he said
He hinted that the first three months of 25 percent would be paid by Friday this week if the school gives the government the “total exposure” of the amount, adding that if pay surpasses the due date, ASUU should be blamed.
James said that Gov. Udom Emmanuel has instituted an investigation panel to put together all the leave grants owed the school including all the labour issues and report back to him within one month.
But ASUU Chapter Chairman, Dr Ime Okop, who confirmed the meeting with the state government, said he could not declare that the strike was suspended since the issues surrounding the suspension of the strike would only be made known after the congress meeting of Tuesday.
“Yes, we had a meeting with the State Government yesterday. But we have to go back and meet with our members in the congress and convey the information and an agreement we made and thereafter we can say it is suspended or not.As an individual, I cannot say that the strike is suspended or not,” he said.
Officials at the meeting include; the Chief of staff to the Governor, Akparawa Ephraim Inyang-Eyen, the Head of Civil Service, Elder Effiong Essien and the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Nse Essien, while the labour unions were led by the State Chairman of the Nigeria Labour Congress, Comrade Sunny James