Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) will today meet with top federal government representatives with a view to end the lingering industrial dispute.
According to information made available to journalists yesterday by head, press and public relations, Ministry of Labour and Employment, Olajide Oshundun, the tripartite meeting is expected to hold by 4pm at presidential villa.
The chief of staff to the president, Prof Agboola Gambari, will chair the meeting.
Other federal government representatives are minister for labour and employment, Dr Chris Ngige, who will host the meeting between officers of the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and other registered Trade Unions in Nigerian universities, as well as identified interest groups and civil societies.
Meanwhile, the Academic Staff Union of Polytechnics (ASUP) has said it will commence a two-week warning strike from May 16, 2022.
ASUP, in a statement released yesterday, said it took the decision after an emergency National Executive Council (NEC).
The statement was signed by its national president, Anderson Ezeibe, and titled, “Status Update of the ASUP/Federal Government of Nigeria Engagement; and Resolutions of the Emergency National Executive Council Meeting of ASUP.”
The union stated that it suspended its industrial action declared on the 6th of April 2021 on the 10th of June, 2021, following the signing of a Memorandum of Action (MoA) with the government for a period of three months to enable the government conclude processes already initiated in the direction of fulfilment of the items in the MoA which are process led.
However, it alleged that after nine months of suspending its strike, it met to evaluate the government’s response to the MoA, where it gave the federal government a one-month ultimatum, the federal government did not honour its agreement with the union.
“Nine months after the suspension of the industrial action and six months after the expiration of the three-month period of suspension, our Union’s NEC met in its meeting in Federal Polytechnic Mubi and after reviewing the report of the implementation of the MoA, resolved to issue a 1 month ultimatum to the government effective 4th April, 2022 to address the outstanding items in the MoA and other emergent issues or face the reality of another trade dispute with our Union.
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“Our Union’s ultimatum expired on the 4th of May, 2022 and as is the norm, the Union’s NEC reconvened today, 11th of May, 2022 to review the response of the government to the ultimatum, particularly as it affects relevant agencies/functionaries of government,” the statement reads in part.
The union also said that the government did not make attempts at conciliation despite the ultimatum given. It also stated that it stayed away from a May 9 meeting called by the Minister of Education, noting that the meeting failed to meet basic requirements for collective bargaining.
“Within the period of the ultimatum, the Union met with the National Board for Technical Education to review the grievances with a view to resolution. Another meeting fixed at the instance of the Honourable Minister of Education (after the 2 expiration of the ultimatum) failed to meet basic requirements for collective bargaining.
“Our Union stayed away from the meeting as it was not structured to address the issues in dispute. The Federal Ministry of Labour and Employment only acknowledged receipt of the union’s ultimatum and made no attempts at conciliation,” the statement said.