Why ASUU extends strike by 12 weeks

The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has extended its ongoing strike for another 12 weeks due to what it described as the ‘Government’s failure to live up to its responsibilities.’

This was confirmed by a statement issued and signed by its President, Prof. Emmanuel Osodeke on Monday after its National Executive Council meeting at the Comrade Festus Iyayi National Secretariat, University of Abuja.

The group stated that the decision was taken to give the government enough time to satisfactorily resolve all the outstanding issues. The roll-over strike was effective from 12.01 am May 9, 2021.

Why we extend the strike- ASUU

It stated, “After extensive deliberations, noting the Government’s failure to live up to its responsibilities and speedily address all the issues raised in the 2020 FGN/ASUU Memorandum of Action (MoA) within the additional eight-week roll–over strike period declared on 14th March 2022, NEC resolved that the strike be rolled over for twelve weeks to give Government more time to satisfactorily resolve all the outstanding issues.

“The roll-over strike action is with effect from 12.01 a.m. on Monday, 9th May 2022. The National Executive Council (NEC) of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) held an emergency meeting on Sunday, 8th May 2022 at the Comrade Festus Iyayi National Secretariat, University of Abuja, Abuja.

“The meeting was called to review developments since the Union declared an eight-week total and comprehensive roll-over strike action at the end of its emergency NEC meeting at the Comrade Festus Iyayi National Secretariat, University of Abuja, Abuja on 14th March 2022. The strike action came on the heels of the Government’s failure to satisfactorily implement the Memorandum of Action (MoA) it signed with the Union in December 2020 on the renegotiation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU Agreement, deployment of the University Transparency and Accountability Solution (UTAS), Earned Academic Allowances (EAA), funding for revitalization of public universities (both Federal and States), proliferation and governance issues in State Universities, promotion arrears, withheld salaries (owed for over 20 months in some cases), and Non-emittance of third-party deductions.”

It alleged that the three-man Committee set up by the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on 1st February 2022 to resolve the lingering issues between ASUU and FGN had not called a single meeting to date.

NEC was equally disappointed that ASUU’s only meeting with the Professor Nimi Briggs-led Renegotiation Committee did not reflect the expected level of understanding, preparation and clarity that undergird collective bargaining going by the Committee’s confession of “going about consulting stakeholders”. Unless urgent steps are taken to redirect the Committee on concluding a draft Agreement that has been pending since May 2021, its activities may end up as another wild goose chase,” it added.

In case you missed it

Nairametrics had reported the confusion surrounding the ASUU strike, as the union alleged that the Federal Government does not take the issue seriously as expected.

This was confirmed by ASUU when it stated that it did not receive any notice of a meeting, which was supposed to hold on Sunday, from the Ministry of Labour and Employment over its ongoing strike.

According to ASUU, the Minister had not called its members and the group is not begging them to meet and will not go to them if there is no invitation.

Osodeke, explained that the union had yet to receive any notice of a meeting from any Federal Government ministry.

  • He said, “No, we have not received any notice of meeting from them. They didn’t call us. We are not begging them to meet with us and we will not go to them if they do not invite us. It is part of his (Ngige’s) political campaign, we didn’t receive an invite.
  • “No meeting, if we do not hear from them, our National Executive Council will meet at the expiration of this week.”
  • There are indications that ASUU may extend its 12-week old strike after members of its National Executive Council held a crucial meeting in Abuja to deliberate on the strike.
  • The group said that it may take such a decision due to the alleged ‘insincerity’ of the government delegation to meet up to its part of the agreement.
  • Meanwhile, the Trade Union Congress in Kogi State also blames the Federal Government for the lingering strike.
  • He alleged that the body language of President Muhammadu Buhari, during the ongoing strike showed that his regime had no plan for the future of Nigerian youths.
  • Ojo, while expressing worries over the continuous crisis rocking the nation’s educational sector, explained that students are always at the receiving end when unions down tools to press home their demands.

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