The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has directed it various branches to hold congress and decide the fate of the eight-month-old strike based on the new offer by the Federal Government.
Daily Sun learnt that ASUU over the weekend asked each branches to hold congress from Monday, November 23 to Wednesday, November 25 and the outcome will be taken to the next meeting on Friday with government officials.
On Friday, November 20, the Federal Government at the resumed negotiation offered N65 billion to ASUU to settle the Earned Academic Allowance and revitalization fund for public universities.
The government also agreed to pay additional N15 billion as revitalization fund in an effort to end the ongoing strike. The amount is in addition to N20 billion that was paid proposed.
It was further gathered that if the new offer by government is accepted by the branches, it will shape the outcome of the ongoing eight months industrial action.
The Zonal Coordinators of ASUU Ibadan and Lagos Zones, Prof Olusiji Sowande and Prof Ade Adejumo as well as the University of Lagos branch chairman, Dr. Dele Ashiru confirmed the directive by the leadership of the union to the branches to hold congress and take decision on the new government offer.
Profs Adejumo and Sowande said after the congress, their views on the new offer will be collated and taken to ASUU secretariat ahead of the Friday meeting with the Minister of Labour and Employment, Dr. Chris Ngige.
Dr. Ashiru disclosed that members at the congress will make inputs into the new offer but observed that the offers are without timeline for implementation, adding that congress will demand for specific date for payment of the outstanding salaries, release of check off dues, payment for the earned allowance as well as the release of the revitalization fund to the universities.
Daily Sun gathered that for ASUU Akure zone, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife will hold its congress on Monday after the zonal meeting, Federal University Akure, on Tuesday and Federal University Oye-Ekiti and Ekiti State University, Ado-Ekiti will meet on Wednesday to make inputs into government offer.
A branch chairman told our Correspondent that ASUU has a tradition, that is the branches decide when strike begins and when to suspend it, adding ”we are following the tradition and that is why the national leadership asked branches to convey congress and make inputs on whether to accept or reject the new government offer.”
He explained that if ASUU branches reject the new government offer, the strike will continue but if otherwise, the eight months old industrial action will be suspended by the National Executive Council meeting based on decisions of the branches.
According to him, the branches will certainly make inputs on the new government offer and this will be tabled at the Friday reconvened negotiation with Ministry of Labour and Employment.
ASUU embarked on strike on March 23, 2020, to press home the implementation of their demands, rejection of the use of Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System (IPPIS) to pay university lecturers’ salaries and allowances, as against the ASUU-developed University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), renegotiation of the 2009 FG/ASUU agreement and revitalization fund for public universities.