BEVERLY HILLS, January 20, (THEWILL) – The Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) and the Federal Government are to resume negotiations on Monday on how to resolve the impasse over the two-month-old strike embarked upon by lecturers.
National President of ASUU, Prof. Biodun Ogunyemi, confirmed the development in a telephone interview with Punch but said the union was not optimistic about the prospects of an early resolution of the industrial dispute.
In response to a question on whether there had been any fresh development with regard to the resolution of the dispute, Ogunyemi said, “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.
“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.
“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.”
THEWILL recalls that 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.