Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, national president of the Academic Staff Union of Universities has said the union will on Monday resume talks with the federal government how to resolve the lingering ongoing strike.
Ogunyemi told PUNCH the union was not optimistic about the prospects of an early resolution of the industrial dispute.
According to Ogunyemi, “I’ am afraid nothing new. I understand they will be meeting us on Monday. Let’s wait and see if they take a reasonable step; it will determine our next line of action. Until then, let’s wait and see.”
Recall that the ASUU president had said members of the union were tired of government’s failed promises.
He said, “Last year, they promised to release the funds but they did not until November when the strike began. Our members are saying they do not want promises again; what they want is action, implementation or disbursement of funds.
“The government must act in a way to convince the union that the agreement has not been set aside. To show that the government has not set aside the agreement, they should release one tranche.”
He explained that in order to forestall a situation where ASUU and the government would restart negotiations on arrears of earned academic allowances, both sides had agreed that “it would be mainstreamed into the 2019 budget.”
Ogunyemi also said, “We are going to have a discussion on when to commence renegotiation because there are still grey areas. If the government can substantially address these issues, we will be more confident to face our members on the way forward. For now, the signals we are getting is that our members do not actually want to accept this government proposal from us.”
Members of ASUU went on strike on November 4, 2018 to demand for improved funding of universities and implementation of previous agreements with the government.
The union is also seeking the implementation of the 2009 FGN/ASUU agreements, Memorandum of Understanding (MoU; 2012 and 2013) and Memorandum of Action (MoA, 2017), among others.