The Joint Action Committee of Senior Staff Association of Nigerian Universities (SSANU) and Non-Academic Staff Union of Educational and Associated Institutions (NASU) has suspended its three-week-old strike with effect from midnight of on Friday, February 26.
President of SSANU, Mohammed Ibrahim Haruna, and the NASU General Secretary, Peters Adeyemi, announced this Thursday night after a meeting with the delegation of Federal Government led by the Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige.
It would be recalled that the leadership of the unions had on February 5 directed all its branches to commence an indefinite strike with a view to pressing home their demands bordering on alleged injustice on sharing formula of N40bn Earned Allowance and non-payment minimum wage arrears.
Other contentious issues raised include inconsistencies in the implementation of the Integrated Payroll and Personnel Information System (IPPIS), delay in renegotiation of FG/NASU and SSANU 2009 agreement, non-payment of retirement benefits of outgone members among others.
Addressing journalists after the meeting, Adeyemi said the unions agreed to suspend the nationwide strike after extracting some concessions from the government, noting that the union’s demand have been harmonized to the satisfaction of both parties.
He stressed that they will continue to monitor the agreements that have been reached with a timeline to ensure that FG implements its own side of the bargain.
Adeyemi said, “We had 8 items that we negotiated, and which form the basis for our ongoing national strike. Our members in our various campuses in the universities and inter-universities centres had appraised the draft MoU and then raised the few observations, but they granted us the mandate that if we are able to meet with the government which we have been able to do today and if the leadership is satisfied, we can go ahead and suspend the strike.
“So, we have held the meeting with the government side and those areas that needed to be harmonized has been harmonized to the satisfaction of both parties and resulting from that development, we have agreed that the ongoing national strike in universities and inter-university centres should be suspended with effect from 12 midnight tomorrow which is Friday 26, February.
“We use this opportunity to appreciate our members for their commitment in these struggles, this strike is suspended and we are not mindful of the fact that we will continue to monitor the agreements that has been reached which has timeline and we hope that the FG we implement his own side of the bargain.
“If the FG doesn’t, we have no reason to call our members to resume the suspended strike but for now, the strike is suspended with effect from 12 midnight of tomorrow February 26.”
While speaking to journalists earlier, the Minister of Labour and Employment, Ngige, said the meeting was very fruitful as all the rough edges arising from the former negotiations have been smoothened.
“Today’s deliberations have been very fruitful, we have also issued a conciliation document called Joint Action Memorandum of Action (MoA), and the two unions will get back to their members today and in good faith, have promised that they will speak to the government before the end of tomorrow.
“So, we keep our fingers crossed, believing that their communications with their union members will be as quick and swift as they have promised us.
“This is more so, as government is desirous that normal activities should return to the University system so that we can take the action one after the other. With the normalcy restored in the university system, we intend to do the visitation panel which is one of the agreements reached with them and which cannot be carried out without normalcy in the university system,” Ngige said.